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End of the semester

Which means I can return to the blog. Why so long without a post? The usual suspects: teaching three courses (note-to-self: teaching a course requiring three new class preps per week for an entire semester gets really old, even if it’s the Enlightenment); revising a think-piece book chapter on what we mean when we use the term “strategy”; revising my chapter on siege capitulations and otherwise editing the other chapters in the World of the Siege collection; thinking about the battle book; assistant chairing and scheduling; designing and overseeing the creation of a Digital History Lab; splitting my Devonthink databases into separate course databases and setting up my Devonthink To Go databases on the iPad/iPhone; downloading a ton of Google Books PDFs; and starting preps for a new Intro to Digital History course this fall.

But motivated by all the digital tips and tricks I’m learning, I’ll try to make more frequent posts for the blog over the summer. That will include posting a few examples of the new digital toys.

So stay tuned…


That time of the year

Much like early modern military planners in April, I’ve been consumed with the beginning of the campaign season, otherwise known as the beginning of the academic year.

This semester I’m teaching Western Civ part deux, as well as my upper-level ‘European warfare, 1337-1815’ course. For those interested in the topics, here you go:


Studying War and the Military
The Discipline of Military History
The Age of Cavalry
The Hundred Years War
Medieval Military Thought
Causes of Early Modern War
Gunpowder Weapons
Gunpowder Fortifications
Infantry Tactics
Noble Warriors
The Ottoman Wars
Ottoman Warfare
The Wars of Italy
The Italian School of War
The Valois-Habsburg wars
The French Wars of Religion
Religion in the French Wars of Religion
Dutch Revolt (Eighty Years War)
16C Warfare in the Netherlands
Thirty Years War
17C Warfare
Experience of the Thirty Years War
Louis XIV’s wars
Warfare in the age of Louis XIV
Siegecraft – Ath 1697
Operations – 1706 campaign
Rise of Prussia
Frederick the Great’s Wars
Mid-18C Battle Tactics
18C Warfare
French Revolutionary wars
French Revolutionary warfare
Napoleonic Wars 1796-1804
Napoleonic Wars 1805-1811
Napoleonic Wars 1812-1815
Partisan & Guerrilla War
Clausewitz & Modern War

Sorry, but if you want to see the assigned readings, you’ll need to pay tuition!

Google Reader expiration

If you subscribe to this (or any) blog with Google Reader, make sure you export your RSS feeds to another product before Monday, when Google Reader inexplicably goes bye-bye. I still haven’t decided on a replacement yet, but at least I have my feeds archived and downloaded.

Last week of classes

And that means grading.

But the research projects for the semester are finally concluded, for which I’m thankful.

New posts will be on the way, including a summary of the Performances of Peace conference that I just returned from last week.

And given a particular book review of our Marlborough book that will remain semi-anonymous, this summer must be the summer of destroying Winston Churchill’s biography of the Duke. I didn’t think it was necessary, but apparently it is. Unfortunately I’m too impatient for Max Planck’s constant to take effect: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” Maybe I’m tilting at windmills, but then English accounts of the war could use a bit more of the ‘windmill perspective.’

What else is coming up on the blog, you ask?

  • More on note-taking, with Devonthink Pro Office and Scrivener
  • More on battle
  • Martial music
  • Recent publications
  • Playing around with basic textual analysis
  • Random quotes and visualizations

SMHBLOG blog posts will include:

  • Review of a iPad app on the battle of the Bulge
  • The challenge of narrating war-years
  • The Ostwald Review Index
  • Other stuff I can’t remember right now.

But for now, gotta grade.

War by any other name

I’ve been swamped with projects, so the blogs have been silent of late. But there’s still plenty of interesting things I’ve been making note of.

In the meantime, I have a new post up at SMHBLOG. Go check it out.

One Year Blogoversary

One year ago today I posted my first substantive post to Skulking in Holes and Corners. 365 days later, I can report that it’s been more successful than I’d imagined:

  • 176 posts
  • 600 comments (one-third from me, but then it’s my blog after all)
  • 21,800 total views, 200 on the busiest day, and an average of 62 views per day. This includes views from dozens of countries from every continent (and I’m sure none of them were accidental clicks!). But none from Greenland or Madagascar – what gives? Represent, people.
  • Most popular post, to the extent that we can measure a single post separate from the main page was <drum roll…> The Reconquista, with 547 views – who woulda thunk it? Other popular posts include My personal journey with mapping and the Face of Battle.

Thanks for reading, and keep it up.

In case you needed an incentive to come back: future posts will include yet more on note-taking (Hooray!), a long review of a brand new book, and much much more.

My future posts on SMHBLOG will include defining the scope of early modern military history, and putting Clausewitz back in his early modern context. My posts there are scheduled to appear every other Friday – the other contributors each have their own dedicated day of the week as well (twice a month).

A third post in a single day?!?

Well, Hurricane Sandy has put my cable on the fritz, imperiling my ability to watch the Celtics and the Heat play the NBA season opener tonight, so I might as well add a third post.

More to the point, I thought I’d let everyone know that I have been partially co-opted by The Man, and am now one of five bloggers on the Society for Military History‘s Official Blog. You can find us under the unimaginative name of SMH Blog; it’s also linked in the Blogroll on the right. I think I’ll refer to it as SMHBLOG since the military loves acronyms. My first post there just went up. I’m joined by Brian Sandberg (of Historical Perspectives fame) and several other modern military bloggers, including one of the original military history bloggers, Mark Grimsley (Blog Them out of the Stone Age). They’re already talking about Clausewitz in Nigeria (kinda like “Shakespeare in the Bush” I guess, or Lawrence of Arabia) and Trenchard-as-policeman, so I better get over there and make sure they don’t get too comfortable in their modernity. It’s so passé.

We’re planning on posting ten posts per month with a regular rotation – we’ll discuss all sorts of topics “that showcase or comment upon academic military history.” Since I’ll continue to maintain this blog in its current format, here’s how I conceive of the division of labor between the two:

“Skulking will continue delving into the minutiae of early modern warfare, while my contributions here [i.e. on SMHBLOG] will tend more towards the contextual: discussing broader debates in early modern military historiography and their relevance to military history more generally, hinting at early modern precedents to modern military phenomena, distinguishing early modern practices and mentalities from more recent ones, and generally pestering military historians to remember that war existed before Napoleon and Clausewitz, and that it needs to be understood on its own terms.” [Note to WordPress: can you please not suggest “early modern presidents” when I spell-check “early modern precedents”? Our students have enough spelling issues as it is.]

For SMHBLOG I’ll probably tone down the charming combination of smarm, sarcasm and stridency that I’m sure you’ve all come to love on Skulking. Need to be a bit more academic there for respectability’s sake.  Gotta represent.

So feel free to add SMHBLOG to your RSS feed. Until I get tired of doing it, I’ll mention here when I post there, or when there are any interesting discussions going on there, from an early modern perspective of course. My next post there is scheduled for 9 November, and will summarize how I see the field of EMEMH organized. I think somebody asked that question once in a comment – when does EMEMH start and end? You’ll just have to wait till the 9th to find out what I think.