Society for Military History Conference

Certainly worth considering, if you are “one of those military historians”!!! You know who “those” people are!!! Anyway, the details:

The Society for Military History is pleased to announce a call for papers for its 77th Annual Meeting, hosted jointly by the Virginia Military Institute and the George C. Marshall Foundation at Lexington, VA on May 20-22, 2010. The conference theme is “Causes Lost and Won,” and will provide an opportunity for a wide examination of military institutions and practices – including the causes, conduct, resolution, and consequences of past wars. While the theme of the conference will provide a basic guide to determining the final program, the program committee will gladly consider proposals on other facets and perspectives of military history.

Panel proposals must include a panel title, contact information for all panelists, a brief description of the purpose and theme of the panel, one-paragraph abstracts of each of the three papers, a brief curriculum vitae for all panelists, including commentator and panel chair. Proposals for individual papers are welcome and should include a brief abstract, abbreviated curriculum vitae, and contact information. All panelists must be Society for Military History members. The deadline for proposals is October 1, 2009. Proposals may be submitted electronically to the conference coordinator, Dr. Timothy C. Dowling ( or by regular mail to Dr. Timothy C. Dowling, Department of History, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA 24450. The program committee will acknowledge receipt of your proposal within two weeks of its submission. If you fail to receive such notice, please contact the conference coordinator.

The meeting will be held on the Post of the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, with the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics and the George C. Marshall Library serving as principle venues. Lexington is conveniently located at the juncture of Interstate Highways 81 and 64 and is easily accessible via Roanoke Regional Airport. The City of Lexington offers excellent local restaurants and shopping and a broad choice of hotels with comfortable accommodations.

For more details, please contact Dr. Tim Dowling at or (540) 464-7472.


Kalamazoo Sessions seeking papers…

So, we’re getting to that time of year again, when proposals are due for the big medieval congresses next year…This also means the semester is beginning soon, too. There are several sessions for the ‘Zoo next year seeking paper proposals (including my own). More will probably follow:

Dana Cushing is looking for papers for a session about “Maritime History of the Early Crusades (before 1204)” to be presented at the next Kalamazoo conference (May 13-16, 2010).

This is an emerging field, so he would like especially to encourage graduate students and non-medievalists (such as art historians, archaeologists, professional seamen, etc.) to participate.

Please send a one-page Abstract before 25 September 2009 to:
Dana Cushing
PO Box 187
Grand Island, NY 14072

The conference website:

2. (from Anne Romine) Seigneurie, a group for the study of lordship, the nobility, and chivalry, invites paper proposals for a session at the International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, MI, May 13-16, 2010.

The Contestation of Chivalry

The scholarship of recent years makes it ever more clear that the values of chivalry were under constant tension, as clerics, kings, and knights themselves worked to revive, reform, or otherwise influence them. Bernard of Clairvaux held up the newly founded Order of the Temple as a model, calling knights to greater efforts in the service of the church and the Holy Land. Edward III of England, founding the Order of the Garter in 1348, sought to reinforce the links between chivalric prowess and loyalty to the crown. Ramon Llull’s Book of the Order of Chivalry urges self-policing within the knightly ranks, so that robber and traitor knights should not be permitted to tarnish the praiseworthy name of knighthood. In 1394, Philippe de Mézières predicted darkly that the upcoming crusade to Hungary (which would end in disaster at the battle of Nicopolis) could not succeed unless the knights involved were to repent and reform their lives. As scholars continue to debate just how meaningful chivalry was in practice, we must take into account the many examples of contemporaries who attempted, by invoking chivalric ideals, to influence the priorities and the behavior of knights. Papers might explore such topics as:

· Ecclesiastical and literary critiques of chivalry, the knightly class, or specific activities like tournaments

· Disputes with the nobility itself as to what constituted proper chivalric behavior

· The relative importance placed by writers of chivalric manuals on different elements of the concept

· Institutions, like orders of knighthood, which attempted to promote specific interpretations of correct chivalric behavior

Please submit one-page abstracts for a 20-minute paper and contact information (name, email, and affiliation) to Anne Romine of St. Louis University via email ( before September 15, 2009.

For more information about Seigneurie, or for correspondence by post rather than electronic mail, please contact Donald Fleming, History Department, Hiram College, Hiram OH 44234 (

Daniel Franke, University of Rochester, is seeking paper proposals for a session entitled “Warfare in Staufen Germany: New Directions and Perspectives,” which he is organizing for the next Kalamazoo conference (May 13-16, 2010). The term “Staufen Germany” is broadly construed to include all aspects of warfare in the German imperium from roughly 1120 to 1300. Medieval German warfare has slowly been receiving increased attention in the last decade, and this session seeks to highlight advances and new contributions to this under-appreciated topic; thus it welcomes proposals on diverse topics from a variety of fields, such as military, technology, or art history.

Interested participants should send 1-page paper proposals, with the Congress cover letter, no later than September 15 to the following paper or email address:

Daniel Franke
Department of History
364 Rush Rhees Library
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627
Fax: 585-756-4425

Congress paper submissions page:

Robin Hood film; interview with Crowe

This is actually a rather thoughtful interview, all things considered. Some of my English Department friends take rather a more jaundiced view of it, but that’s typical. My own hope is that the film amounts to something more than Kingdom of Heaven transferred to England (of course, I also don’t share the same loathing of that film that many of my crusades historian friends do!). Anyway, let the man speak for himself…