"Global and Local Perspectives on Military History" Scholarly Conference

Timothy Roberts Announcement
Illinois, United States
Subject Fields
Military History, World History / Studies, American History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations, Local History

Does the transnational turn in historical scholarship suggest that all warfare is actually derivative of larger global patterns, or are there local, regional, or national “ways of war” that differentiate conflict within that certain geographical space, which historians should acknowledge? The new military history of the last several decades shifted attention away from traditional narratives that focused on generalship and troop movements on the battlefield towards the perspective of ordinary soldiers, and more recently, towards even broader social and cultural perspectives on warfare. How does the transnational turn in history affect the new military history?

This conference, to be held in-person at the Quad Cities campus of Western Illinois University, April 14-16, 2023, invites paper and panel proposals that explore intersections between global and local perspectives on warfare, on and off the battlefield, including campaign histories; biographical analysis; material culture; cultural, social, and political implications; and indigenous populations.

Given the conference’s location near the historic Rock Island Arsenal, the only active U.S. Army foundry, the conference particularly welcomes papers exploring the role of military manufacturing and supply in warfare, ancient and modern. Conference participation includes a visit to the Rock Island Arsenal Museum.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Lisa Brady, Professor of History at Boise State University, specialist on environmental and military history, especially of Asia and the United States, who will speak on “The Global Nature of a Local War: An Environmental Analysis of United Nations Logistics in the Korean War.”

Stephen Morillo, Professor of History at Wabash College, specialist on medieval military and world history, who will speak on “Medieval Warfare from a Global Perspective.”

Panel and Paper Proposals

Proposals for panels or individual papers are welcome. In addition to scholars of all fields, Secondary Education Teachers and Museum and Public History professionals are encouraged to submit proposals.

Please submit panel proposals of no more than 300 words, which will, ideally, identify topics of 2-4 papers (each with an abstract of 150-200 words and a one-page cv) with a commentator and/or chair.

Individual paper proposals are also welcome. These should include a 150-200 word abstract and a one-page cv with current address.

All proposals should be sent to History-Conf@wiu.edu. All submissions will be reviewed by the program committee, whose decisions will be final. Selected proposals will be announced before January 15, 2023.

We wish to encourage PhD students to submit abstracts. A call for students’ proposals (current BA students) will be circulated in the autumn with a submission deadline of January 31, 2023.


The conference may be affected by COVID-19 health, safety, and travel restrictions, and will abide by all COVID-19 safety guidelines.

For further information about the conference contact us at History-Conf@wiu.edu or write to Professor  Lee L. Brice at ll-brice@wiu.edu or Professor Timothy M. Roberts at tm-roberts@wiu.edu.

The conference is sponsored by the Department of History and College of Arts and Sciences at Western Illinois University.

Contact Information

Tim Roberts, Western Illinois University Department of History, tm-roberts@wiu.edu, (309)298-1053

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