Seminar New Horizons in Military History Research

27 February 2019
University Library of Amsterdam

Over the past decades, military history has developed into a field covering a wide variety of topics, theories and methodologies. Moving beyond ‘traditional’ operational military history, successive waves of social and cultural historians have focused on the impact of military organization and activities on wider society, or have found new ways to discuss organized violence and the various forms and shapes of warfare across increasingly wide temporal and geographical dimensions. However, due to the plethora of new approaches and influences, there is a distinct danger of losing sight of military history as a distinct field of historical inquiry. Situated within an increasingly interdisciplinary field of study we can ask ourselves: what makes military history? Is there still a subdiscipline of military history and military historians? And furthermore, what are the benefits and pitfalls of these developments?

The Research School of Political History hosts a one-day seminar on current developments in military history and beyond. During several panel sessions and an interactive workshop, we will touch upon different topics, such as the relationship between the armed forces and society, responsibility and ethics, identity and memory, minorities and diversity. In these workshops, participating PhD candidates and scholars will collaborate and discuss the future of military history and its methodology. The day will conclude with a keynote by prof. Sönke Neitzel (professor of military history and the cultural history of violence at the University of Potsdam) on the future of military history, after which we will retreat for drinks.

The seminar will be held at the University Library of Amsterdam on the 27th of February 2019. This day will provide an opportunity for young scholars working within the field of military history in the broadest sense to present their research and to stimulate debate on the relevance of military history and its connections to other fields within the discipline of history. Furthermore, this day will be an excellent venue to meet and exchange thoughts on the future of historical research.

The organizers:

Kim Bootsma M.A.
Tom Duurland M.A.
Francesca Hooft M.A.
Prof. Wim Klinkert
Dr. Samuel Kruizinga
Dr. Margit van der Steen