Here we go again: military historian complains that no one teaches or writes about military history any more, part eleventybillion


Do we exist?

Via Patrick McCray on Twitter yesterday, I learned that Robert Neer, a part-time lecturer in military history, laments the state of military history among professional historians:

I am not a disinterested observer. Since 2011, when I received my PhD in history from Columbia University, I have taught a course called‘Empire of Liberty: A Global History of the US Military’ on and off at the university during the summers – a survey of ideas and events from King Philip’s War in 1675 to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. It surprised me to discover that this was the first course on the history of the US military in many years at Columbia. It startled me even more to learn that there is little research into the history of military power at elite US universities (themselves key players, ironically, in the story: Columbia and the University of Chicago gave us atomic weapons, Harvard invented napalm, and MIT and others are major military research centres). In fact, academics nationwide often dismiss military history as the home of fetishists of suffering and antiquarians obsessed with swords, muskets and battlefield tours.

In one of history’s great ironies, when I read Neer’s article, I had just minutes earlier sent another draft of an essay I’ve written for The Routledge Handbook of Gender, War, and the U.S. Military to my editors, Meredith H. Lair (George Mason) and Kara Vuic (Texas Christian University).  Lair and Vuic are two military historians who seem to have found employment at accredited universities in a profession that allegedly refuses to recognize the legitimacy of their field.  Amazeballs!!!  But apparently Lair, Vuic, and I–not to mention our teaching and research–don’t exist, at least not according to Robert Neer.  So what gives?  Why are we completely invisible to some military historians? Continue reading

Why doesn’t Clinton just drop out already?

Remember all of those calls eight years ago for Hillary Clinton to drop out of the Democratic nomination fight in the midst of the March primaries?  Remember all of those Brobama dudez screaming “the math!  The math!  Just look at The Math!”  And why was the b*tch insisting on peeing in the punchbowl when all of the kool kidz just wanted to party on down and let Barack Obama turn his attention to the general election?

Yeah, well:  I’m not going to return the favor.  But just for once, could we take a look at The Math in 2016, courtesy of Philip Bump?  It turns out that Clinton has a +206 earned delegate lead (that’s just counting the delegates she’s earned in the primaries and caucuses so far, not any of the superdelegates).  By comparison to this point in 2008, Obama had only a +90 delegate lead. Continue reading

“How old are those guys? How old are we?”

Via Jonathan Rees on Twitter (he of More or Less Bunk, the blog for all worthy LMS/CMS and MOOC opinionation):

I immediately shared this with my husband (who a few months ago had a birthday ending in a zero), and he asked, “How old are those guys?  How old are we?

It was weird for me as a historian when I became old enough to recognize that parts of my life were a part of specific historical eras.  I think I was in my later 30s or early 40s when I started realizing that my youth was definitely a childhood of the 1970s, and then that my college years were specific to that part of the late 1980s, post-Rock Hudson/AIDS awareness, but definitely before the internet invaded everyone’s lives.  (We had email on an intranet, but no World Wide Web or internet yet.) Continue reading

Who wants a free master’s degree?


Colorado State University

The History department at Colorado State University has extended our application deadline for our M.A. program to March 1. We offer our Master’s students  a G.T.A.-ship, which includes tuition AND  a modest stipend, so unless you’re accustomed to living high on the hog, you can earn  a Master’s degree in public history (with concentrations in historic preservation, museum studies, cultural resource management), environmental history, and U.S. Western History without paying a dime or taking out any loans.  Here’s a nice brochure that spells it all out.

Because the Public Lands History Center is such  a hive of grant-funded research and scholarship, you can probably have  a PAID internship in the summers as well!  Plus, you’d get to live in Colorado for few years, which ain’t all bad either.  (And I hear tell that Colorado needs all kinds of teachers these days, too.) Continue reading

Iowa stubborn

UPDATE, with predictions revealed!

Here’s what I wrote to myself in an email dated January 31 (Sunday night) at 5:41 p.m.  I was right about Iowa, if only by a hair in the Democratic caucus:

Cruz wins Iowa Caucus but it doesn’t matter in the long run; he doesn’t get the nomination.

Trump comes in #2 in Iowa, wins NH.  No prediction as to whether he will win the nomination.

Clinton wins Iowa, loses NH, wins SC and Super Tuesday and gets the nomination.


That crazy state that’s now smaller, population-wise, than Colorado is having its outsized say in the 2016 presidential campaign again.  Until the Democrats decide to have their first primary–not a fundamentally anti-democratic (small-d) caucus–in a state that reflects their demographics, we can enjoy never seeing eye-to-eye with Ioway.

So, what the heck?  You’re welcome.  I’ve emailed my predictions to myself so I have a time- and date-stamped record of my hopes and delusions for tonight’s dog-and-pony show.

Reviewed to death: Yelp me out already!


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