A Student of History

December 19, 2012

Conflict-Resolution-Conflict (A conference in 2013)

Filed under: The Academy,Wars — John Maass @ 9:02 am
Battle of Bushy Run

Battle of Bushy Run

The British Group in Early American History will hold its 2013 meeting at the University of East Anglia, UK, between the 5th and the 7th of September. The year 2013 marks the anniversary of several efforts to resolve conflict in North America, including the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, which purported to draw a line between the territories of the French and British Empires and proposed a framework for resolving the status of the continent’s native peoples, and the 1763 Peace of Paris, which superficially represented an even simpler resolution, ceding to Britain virtually all the territory east of the Mississippi. Of course that resolution only led to more trouble. With these anniversaries in mind, the theme of our conference will be “Conflict—Resolution—Conflict.”

There were many other moments of conflict, resolution, and recurrent trouble in households, plantations, courts, and borderlands. Such dramatic confrontations between all kinds of early Americans provide rich material for possible papers and panels. Our keynote speakers include Professor Stephen Conway, University College London. The programme committee welcomes complete panel and individual proposals on any aspect of early American history before 1820. Please email proposals to Geoffrey Plank at G.Plank@uea.ac.uk. Proposals should be sent as an attachment and individual submissions should include a one page description of the paper and a brief CV. Submissions for complete panels should include a brief CV for each of the participants and a one paragraph overview of the panel in addition to the individual paper outlines. The deadline for proposals is February 15, 2013.

Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, 1750-1850

Filed under: Early America,The Academy — John Maass @ 8:14 am
British Grenadiers, 1750s

British Grenadiers, 1750s

43rd Annual Meeting of the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, 1750-1850
Ft Worth, TX
21-23 February 2013

The Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, 1750-1850 (CRE) provides a venue for the presentation of original research on not only the history of Europe during the Age of Revolution, but also the Atlantic world and beyond. This meeting will offer a platform for research into the Revolutionary Era 1750-1850 broadly defined, and especially encourage scholars in non-European fields to participate. Several years ago, the Board of Directors changed the name from the Consortium on Revolutionary Europe to the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era to mark the organization’s broader scope. Annual conferences are not theme-based, but the 2013 meeting will recognize the bicentennial of the German “Befreiungskriege 1813-1815” against Napoleon. The CRE also publishes Selected Papers for each annual meeting. For more information on the CRE, see website at: www.revolutionaryera.org.

March 21, 2012

8th Biennial Conference of the Society of Early Americanists-2013

Filed under: Early America,The Academy — John Maass @ 6:52 am

The SEA invites your participation in the 8th Biennial Conference. While the program committee will consider complete panels, we are also interested in panel topics which will be listed on the website in early May, at which point interested individuals can submit papers to those panel organizers. Finally, if none of the panels reflects your individual interests, you can submit an individual paper directly to the program committee chair by Monday, September 24, 2012.

For more information, click HERE.

March 19, 2012

Liberty University 2012 Civil War Seminar

Filed under: The Academy,Wars — John Maass @ 12:46 pm

Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA will host its annual Civil War Seminar from September 28-30, 2012, providing an opportunity for scholars to present and debate research on the military, political, social, and other aspects of one of the defining conflicts of American history. In honor of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the theme of this year’s seminar will be the battles, campaigns, and other events and personalities of 1862.  Featured speakers include Dr. Brooks Simpson of Arizona State University and Dr. Steven Woodworth of Texas Christian University. 

The deadline for proposals is June 1, 2012. While proposals for complete panels (three presenters and a chair) are preferred, individual proposals are welcome. Proposals should include a title and an abstract of 250-300 words for the papers and short curriculum vitae of the participants. Panel submissions should have an overall title and a description of the theme of the session.

For information, see the seminar’s website at www.liberty.edu/civilwar.

February 7, 2012

General Nathanael Greene and the American Revolution in the South

Filed under: Early America,The Academy,Wars — John Maass @ 1:55 pm

General Nathanael Greene and the American Revolution in the South will be published by the Univ. of South Carolina Press in August 2012. 

One of the essays is by me, written back in 2006, entitled “With humanity, justice and moderation”: Nathanael Greene and the Reconciliation of the Disaffected in the South, 1780–1783.  Here’s the description:

A major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, Nathanael Greene has received historical attention as a commander who successfully coordinated the actions of seemingly disparate kinds of soldiers—regular Continental troops, militiamen, and partisan guerrillas. He has often been acclaimed as the second most important military figure of the Revolution, behind George Washington. General Nathanael Greene and the American Revolution in the South offers new perspectives on Greene’s leadership of Continental troops, his use of the mounted troops of South Carolina partisan leaders Thomas Sumter and Francis Marion, his integration of local militia into his fighting force, and his proposal that slaves be armed and freed in return for their military service.

During the first five years of the War of Independence, Greene served in the North as General George Washington’s most trusted subordinate. Through successes, failures, and hard-earned experience, Greene learned that mobility, logistical support, and effective civil-military relations were crucial components of eighteenth-century warfare, and especially of a successful revolution. He applied these lessons as commander in the Southern Department, where he led one of the most startling turnabouts in American military history, reversing a rigid British occupation and saving American liberty in the South. This collection of essays provides an assessment of the most important period of Greene’s military career. Editors Gregory D. Massey and Jim Piecuch have compiled essays from distinguished scholars and written a joint introduction demonstrating how Greene’s actions shaped the war in the South and deepening our understanding of Greene’s role in winning American independence.

And here’s the first paragraph from my essay:

The struggle for American independence in the southern states was principally a civil war after the British decided to concentrate offensive operations there in late 1778.  While there was a traditional military contest between regular armies in the field, the primary conflict was a bloody internecine struggle between Loyalists and rebels marked by plundering, property destruction, violence and murder. These concurrent conflicts created great difficulties for Patriot military and civilian leaders in the nascent southern states in their attempt to establish political legitimacy through the restoration of order and stability.  No American leader was more aware of these challenges than Major General Nathanael Greene, the Rhode Islander who assumed Continental command in the South in December 1780.  The need to rebuild the southern states was of paramount importance to Greene, who recognized the necessity of ending uncontrolled violence among the citizenry.  Greene and other Patriot leaders had to balance the need for an end to the chaos through some reconciliation with the region’s Loyalists as the war ended, with the strong desire among many Whigs to seek violence, retribution and property confiscation against their enemies.  Greene consistently sought to limit the retributive violence and calls for vengeance.  He worked to foster a spirit of conciliation in order to bring peace, prosperity and order to the South.  This position, however, was not universally shared by all supporters of the American cause, which often frustrated Greene’s efforts to ensure leniency toward Loyalists during the war’s final years.

January 12, 2012

The American Revolution Reborn

Filed under: Early America,The Academy,Wars — John Maass @ 10:14 am

J.S. Copley, "The Death of Maj. Pierson"

“The American Revolution Reborn: New Perspectives for the 21st Century”

Philadelphia, 31 May—2 June 2013

Call for Papers

With generous support from an anonymous donor, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the David Library of the American Revolution, and the American Philosophical Society will host an international conference on the American Revolution, 31 May—2 June 2013.

The conference aims to showcase new directions and emerging trends in scholarship. The conference organizers expect that it will be the first in a series of gatherings exploring important themes on the era of the American Revolution.

Because the conference hopes to launch new interpretations of the era of the American Revolution, the organizers welcome paper proposals representing diverse disciplinary approaches and interpretative frameworks. As detailed below, four broad themes will organize the conference: Violence and the American Revolution; The American Revolution and Civil Wars; Power and Revolution; and Religion and Revolution. Paper proposals should be approximately 500 words and should be accompanied by a brief c.v. In addition to summarizing the proposed paper’s argument, proposals should directly address how the paper sheds new light on the understanding of the American Revolution. Those submitting proposals should identify which theme their paper addresses, although conference organizers reserve the right to place it in any of the groups.

Submissions and questions should be sent in Word format to mceas@ccat.sas.upenn.edu, with “Revolution Conference” in the subject line. The deadline for submission is 2 March 2012.

June 14, 2011

SMH Conference 2012

Filed under: The Academy,Wars — John Maass @ 11:11 am

Battle of New Orleans

Call for Papers

79th Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History

Arlington, VA, 10-13 May 2012

The Society for Military History is pleased to announce its call for papers for the 79th Annual Meeting hosted by the Army Historical Foundation in Arlington, Virginia, 10-13 May 2012.

The conference theme is “The Politics of War,” highlighting the transition from war to peace, civil-military relations, the dynamics of coalition warfare and the problems of military government and occupation. We encourage a diverse group of participants and especially encourage junior scholars to present their work and to serve on panels. As always, the program committee will consider all panel and paper proposals dealing with important questions of military history.

Panel proposals must include a panel title, contact information for all panelists, a brief description of the purpose and theme of the panel, a one-paragraph abstract of each of the papers, a one-page curriculum vita of each panelist, including commentator and chair, and contact information. All presenters, chairs, and commentators must be SMH members at the time of the 2012 meeting. Proposals for individual papers are welcome and should include a brief abstract, a one-page curriculum vita, and contact information. Proposals must be submitted electronically to the conference coordinator, Mr. Matt Seelinger (matt.seelinger@armyhistory.org). Deadline for proposals is 1 November 2011.

The meeting will be held in the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. It is easily accessible by Metro and from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. More information on registration and hotel reservations can be found at: http://www.armyhistory.org.

November 17, 2010

Is history as good as finished?

Filed under: The Academy — John Maass @ 12:46 pm

See Anthony Beevor’s article from the UK Guardian about history in schools.

“Is history as good as finished? Our school system seems to think so. Often it seems that the teaching of history is treated by the educational establishment as the rough equivalent of the teaching of dead languages: an unnecessary luxury of a bygone age, and something the modern world no longer requires. In the most recent debates about the national curriculum, history has been granted the status of an “inessential subject”. This is a grave and myopic mistake.”

July 28, 2008

Why Historians Should Write Books Ordinary People Want to Read

Filed under: The Academy — John Maass @ 11:57 am

Check out grad student Jeremy C. Young‘s HNN piece on the need for academics to write for general audiences:

The amazing thing about history is just how many people want to read about it.  Step into any Barnes & Noble and you’ll find shelves full of glossy, high-priced history books on a wide variety of subjects.  Those volumes aren’t there just to fill space; popular presses literally sell millions of copies of history and history-related books each year.  While these books do tend to cluster around certain subjects — predominantly American history, political and military history, biography, and the Founding Fathers — there’s no denying that many lay Americans find history a stimulating and important subject worth spending their hard-earned dollars on.

The problem with Young’s argument, however, is that the he keeps going back to one simple (and troubling) point-that somehow sales of books at Borders, B&N, etc. should drive what we write about and study.  That ain’t the way it works, nor should it be.

June 27, 2008

Too many lawyers…

Filed under: Quotes,The Academy,The world today — John Maass @ 5:17 am

“If you look at the figures, where does the top of the class in college go to? It goes into law. They don’t go into teaching. Now I love the law, there is nothing I would rather do but it doesn’t produce anything.”

—Justice Antonin Scalia, 2008

June 26, 2008

What the hell is wrong with college football?

Filed under: The Academy — John Maass @ 5:45 am

What the hell is wrong with college football?  As I wait anxiously for the beginning of this season (given the high expectations for my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes), most websites I go to for news have an overwhelming number of stories about college players getting kicked off their teams, etc. for bad behavior.  It used to be a few schools (Miami, to name one) that had trouble, but now it seems they all are.  For example, some recent headlines:

‘Bama linebacker Johns charged with selling cocaine, possessing Ecstasy

Oklahoma State’s Pettigrew pleads guilty to misdemeanors

Brown, Douglas suspended for 2008 season for violating team rules (Ark. St.)

Razorbacks dismiss Fairchild following arrest on misdemeanor charges

Clemson’s McDaniel arrested, charged with aggravated assault, battery

UCF’s Kay suspended from team after weekend arrest

These are just some from one day from just one website!   Not a good case for the “student-athelete.”

June 25, 2008

Don Higginbotham

Filed under: Early America,The Academy — John Maass @ 12:46 pm

Word comes from HNN that noted historian of early America Don Higginbotham has died.  No more details available right now.


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