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SMH 2017 Conference

For those attending the Society for Military History conference this year (not me) in Jacksonville, FL on March 30-April 2, you have the following panels to attend:

PANEL 2 B – BOARDROOM 2, 3RD FLOOR

RELIGION, REVOLT AND INDEPENDENCE: UNDERSTANDING WAR IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE

Chair and Commentator:  David J. B. Trim, Andrews University

Forging Alliances:  Reformed Rebels in the Wars of Religion
Dencie Fett, University of North Florida

The Enigma of Hugh O’Neill: Irish Military Strategy and Foreign Intervention in the Nine Years War
Edward Tenace, Lyon College

Intervening from a Position of Weakness: English Intervention Attempts on the Continent During the Personal Rule of Charles I
James A. Tucker, The Ohio State University

At the same time there are two panels on digital military history, if you like that kind of thing.

There’s also a poster in Session 3:

Soldiers and Society after the Seven Years’ War: The Impact of Eighteenth Century Demobilization
Jessica Dirkson, Georgia Southern University.

PANEL 4 A BOARDROOM 1, 3RD FLOOR

18TH AND 19TH CENTURY EUROPEAN WARS ON GLOBAL CONTEXT

Chair:  Gregory J. W. Urwin, Temple University

“Munition Us With Gunpowder, Rope-Matches, and Fuses”: Catholic Clergy and Armed Conflict during the French Wars of Religion
Gregory Bereiter, Naval History and Heritage Command

Flanders to Brazil:  Battlefield Perception in the Portuguese Early Modern Atlantic World
Miguel Cruz, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

Napoleon’s Empire: A Global View?
John Morgan, Miles College

Commentator: Stanley D. M. Carpenter, U.S. Naval War College

PANEL 5 C – BOARDROOM 3, 3RD FLOOR

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: HISTORICAL-STATISTICAL STUDIES OF CENTRAL EUROPEAN ARMIES, 1618-1789

Chair and Commentator: Peter H. Wilson, All Souls College, University of Oxford

Most Saxon Soldiers Are Saxon:  The Myth of the Rootless Mercenary and the Origins of Soldiers in Electoral Saxony, 1618-1651
Lucia Staiano-Daniels, University of California, Los Angeles

Social and National Composition of the Habsburg Officer Corps, 1740-1790
Tobias Roeder, Clare College, University of Cambridge

Old-Regime Armies? Modern Armies? The Case of Habsburg Austria, 1740-1792
Ilya Berkovich, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

One pre-revolutionary paper managed to sneak into another panel, but looking at the chair and commentator, it makes sense:

PANEL 7 F – CLEARWATER, 3RD FLOOR

THE SOLDIER AND THE CIVILIAN IN MILITARY HISTORY AND THEORY: 250 YEARS OF GLOBAL INFLUENCES ON MILITARY THINKING, 1740-1990

Chair:  Patrick Speelman, United States Merchant Marine Academy

Influencing Wellington’s Army:  The Impact of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Military Thought on the British Army
Huw J. Davies, King’s College London

A Case of Goats Mingling with Sheep?  The Wartime Relationship Between the Civilian Engineering Profession and the British Army 1914-1919
Aimée Fox-Godden, King’s College London

“Operation Military History Singapore”: Theodore Ropp’s Makers of Modern Strategy Revisted and the Parameters of Military History
Michael P. M. Finch, King’s College London

Commentator:  Mark Danley, United States Military Academy

And of course several early American panels (3C, 5A, 7A).

The full program is available here: http://ww2.fsu.edu/smh-conference/conference-program

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Got Things Done

 

Got Promoted

And for those who need statistics from my first full academic year of real GTD use:
Total tasks completed (i.e. those that I bothered to enter into Pocket Informant and not just do right away) from 2015.08.22 to 2016.05.11:
1200 tasks (probably 3-5 hours-worth of entry time over the span of 8 months).

And to see how much I used the various pieces of metadata, and to get a better sense of what I did with my time, in broad brushstrokes, I record the following summaries for posterity:

PI Tasks by Project

Screenshot 2016-05-12 14.20.31

Screenshot 2016-05-12 14.26.09

 

I wouldn’t analyze these too closely, since some tasks were deleted, since not every task had every possible piece of metadata – some of them were just ephemeral reminders to myself (“Bring cheese”) set up with Siri, and since different tasks required differing amounts of time to complete. But still, it’s kinda interesting, if you’re into that kind of thing…

And speaking of generic end-of-academic-year checklists:

  • Clean work office
  • Inventory work office supplies
  • Bring home perishable food items (office, fridge)
  • Clean up computer folders on work computer
  • Copy work computer course folders to Dropbox
  • Order any outstanding textbooks for next semester
  • Wish happy summer to faculty/staff
  • Return library books
  • Update CV
  • Write semester-end thoughts for each course (keep textbook? different assignments…)
  • Brainstorm generic teaching improvements
  • Clean home office

Ha! Thought I’d let a GTD post go by without a checklist? You’ve been chklstd!

John F. Guilmartin Jr.

If you haven’t already heard, John (“Joe”) Guilmartin died last week. Best known to early modern military historians for his detailed work on Mediterranean naval warfare, he was a wide-ranging scholar who published on topics ranging from the Ancient world to Europe to the Americas to aerial combat to the Vietnam War.

He taught at several schools, spending most of his academic career at Ohio State, where he advised 200 students through the graduate school process. His former students, this one at least, remembers him as a jovial fellow always sharing historical factoids whenever the mood struck. If you’ve read his classic Gunpowder and Galleys, you already know that his engineering background was hard to repress, even if that meant chalking the equation for drag coefficients on the board during a History seminar on military technology, to the befuddlement of at least one of his students. Just as irrepressible was his homespun wisdom, whether describing the vigorous military mindset as “Hey diddle, diddle, straight up the middle”, or reassuring his charges that if the earth were to split open between his feet, he would automatically jump left, lest, in his hesitation, the earth swallowed him. And, though I missed his class lecture on siege warfare, his encouragement of my research on the 1708 siege of Lille, along with his early adoption of graphics, had a major influence on my future research path.

Guilmartin's HIS 625 syllabus

For more evidence of his very full life, see his homepage here. Several of his former advisees are preparing a festschrift in his honor.

He will be missed.

What rhymes with Ottawa?

Preliminary program for the SMH 2016 conference in Ottawa is up here.

There aren’t that many EMEMH panels, but there’s at least one of note. There are also, as usual, several panels on 17C-18C America, a few on Native Americans and other indigenes, a sprinkling of Ancients, and a few on environment/topography. None on medieval or Napoleonic this year – I’ll assume the SMH often competes with the Woodstock party that is Kalamazoo.

So I’m thinking we should try to organize some informal EMEMH get-together sometime during the conference. Could be drinks, lunch or even dinner. Let us know in the comments if anyone is game, and we can try to figure something out.

2015: The Year of the Military Revolution in French historiography

Yet more Xmas gifts. But at a price.

Oh, don’t worry –  I’ll spare you the checklist, but I’ll belabor you instead with what I’ve learned (and why I didn’t learn it sooner) over the past year.

But if you’re a busy person, the TL;DR version: there are a lot of French scholars of early modern military history, particularly of Louis XIV’s reign. And I’m giving you a bibliography, for free.
Read More…

SMH2016 Ottawa sneak-peak

While the official program for next April’s Society for Military History conference won’t be out until early next year, I can report that there will be at least one panel on Louis XIV’s last two wars (or is it William III’s last two wars?).

If I can quote from the brilliantly-crafted proposal overview:

Crossing the Channel: Anglo-Germanic Military Relations in the Age of William and Anne

England has always had a complicated relationship with the rest of Europe. Neither the ‘English’ Channel nor the wooden walls of the Royal Navy have prevented invasions from the sea, yet English self-identity has long prided itself on its separation from the Continent. Historians are well aware of the permeability of the Channel and North Sea: Julius Caesar, Norsemen and William the Conqueror, Lancaster and York are only a few of the early successful examples. Nevertheless, England’s peripheral location generally allowed Tudor and Stuart monarchs a freedom of action regarding continental entanglements. After William of Orange’s successful invasion of 1688 forced the island nation into a full-scale continental commitment, the immediate question arose of how England’s forces would contribute to the two ensuing conflicts against Louis XIV’s France (the Nine Years War, 1688-1697, and War of the Spanish Succession, 1701-1714). English troops, commanded first by King William III and then by the Duke of Marlborough, campaigned across Flanders and Iberia, while English diplomatic attentions ranged throughout Europe. Central to William’s vision of a pan-European anti-French alliance were the Germanic states of northern Europe: his own United Provinces of the Netherlands, the German princes of the Holy Roman Empire, and the crown lands of Austria. By 1714, the coalitions constructed by William had humbled the Sun King, and elevated Britain to the status of a great power. How England incorporated its own forces into this larger coalition effort is the focus of this panel.

The three papers provide complementary perspectives on the resulting military relations between England (Britain from 1707) and these continental allies, the compromises and tensions inherent in such coalition endeavors. Thomas M. Nora (University of Hull, Ph.D. candidate) focuses on the administrative and diplomatic groundwork necessary for the English to participate as full members of the Grand Alliances of 1689 and 1701 – their reliance on German auxiliaries. John M. Stapleton (West Point, Associate professor) examines the English reliance on Dutch operational logistics within a Flanders coalition army. Caleb Karges (University of St. Andrews, Ph.D.) explores the question of how the English sought to shape their Austrian ally’s grand strategy.

Together these contributions illustrate how the multi-national forces of two Grand Alliances crossed not just physical and state boundaries on campaign, but necessarily violated borders often considered sovereign and inviolate – crossing the frontiers of individual states’ fiscal, administrative and command structures. These papers explore the extent to which English exceptionalists were forced to become more “continental” when fighting within grand coalitions against a hegemonic France.

Me? I’ll just be along for the ride to chair and to commentate.

Post-conference checklist

I continue with my conceit that anyone will care about my checklists. I create them largely to facilitate my use of GTD (see GTD tag). Specifically, to speed up entry of tasks in my Pocket Informant task manager, as well as to make it easy for me to complete small, atomized tasks of a larger project, without having to stop and reconstruct all the subtasks each time. So without further ado, these are the tasks I should perform after each conference:

  • Save receipts for reimbursement (scan, file)
  • Revise Contacts (PI, Contacts)
    • Update Farley file on old contacts
    • Add new contacts with Farley file info
    • Set Google Alerts for new contacts/authors
      I’m not saying I’m a cyberstalker, but…
    • Email contacts with any follow-ups
  • Tell any non-attendees about interesting bits
  • Schedule any due dates for future publication of paper (PI, make Project)
  • Search for any mentioned publications/authors (Zotero, DTPO)
  • Enter specific Papers and Panels (DTPO)
    • Import conference program
      • Make conference tag
      • OCR program as needed
    • Enter comments/questions on my paper/panel (topic tags)
    • Enter my notes on other papers (topic tags)
  • Enter general thoughts on conference (DTPO, with conference tag)
    • Current trends among other researchers?
    • What kinds of questions/debates came up?
  • Identify potential “competitors” (DTPO, with conference tag)
    • Develop strategies to coordinate with other researchers & minimize potential overlap/scooping
  • Enter any Notes, Photos… from conference, museums, bookstores… (DTPO)
    • Take notes on museums & other sites visited (site tag)
    • Consider how to use in courses
  • Add any forgotten pre-conference prep tasks to checklist template

I think that’s a good start.