Call for Papers - New Directions in War and History: Debating military history

Event details

SDSC Conference

Date & time

Thursday 04 February 2016


Hedley Bull Centre (130), Garran Road, ANU




Kerrie Hogan
+61 2 6125 2167

The Strategic & Defence Studies Centre (ANU) and the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society (UNSW Canberra) are pleased to announce an international conference that explores the future of military history, to be held at the Australian National University 4 – 5 February 2016.

The conference aims to explore the unique position occupied by military history between the public, scholarly and professional arenas. Historians of all fields have long mined the wealth of sources that war generates, and the history of war remains popular at an undergraduate level. In Australia the centenary of the First World War has generated substantial public interest, while the Anzac myth is central to national commemoration of war and a signifier of national identity. Yet, military history arguably remains on the margin of the historical discipline in Australia, following an international trend in which the field has been considered to be traditional and conservative.

This conference aims to re-consider military and naval history as a genre of history, while also providing a forum for discussing new and innovative approaches in the field. In doing so, paper proposals that explore the limits of military history, its controversies and omissions, its utility and successes are encouraged. The conference theme, ‘New directions in war and history’, is deliberately broad so as to generate a discussion between Australian and international scholars who examine conflict through a range of cultural, social, economic and political history lenses and those scholars situated within the more traditional military history but who are exploring it in innovative ways.

Themes may include

  • The current place of military history in the academy
  • The intersection between military history and other fields, such as cultural, social, gender and Indigenous history
  • The place of scholarly military history in public institutions, governments and defence forces
  • Non-traditional definitions of conflict and war, such as at the sub-state level
  • War, trauma, reconciliation and memory.
  • New approaches and perspectives on the study of war and the military

The organisers invite proposals for 20-minute papers that engage with these and related themes. Proposals should be no more than 300 words, should include a short biography, and be sent to Tristan Moss,, and Tom Richardson, by 2 October 2015.

To encourage a broad range of participants, at least four bursaries of $500 each will be available to defray travel costs. All participants are eligible, with an emphasis on those who do not have access to institutional funding. Those wishing to apply should include with their paper proposal a CV and a page explaining how they would benefit from a bursary.

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