Dissertation Writing

The Chronicle of Higher Education has published a piece on dissertation writing with some simple, straightforward advice: Write!

The advice piece suggests that “there is only one fail-safe method, one secret, one guaranteed trick that you need in order to finish your dissertation: Write.”

No secrets here, just sound advice for dissertation candidates.

See the full piece at the Chronicle of Higher Education online.

Posted in Academic Publishing, Graduate Work in History, Humanities Education, Writing Methods | Leave a comment

Tanks in World War II Films

Fury, a new World War II film, will be released this fall, presenting the perspective of United States tank crews fighting in Germany toward the end of the war in Europe. The film focuses on a Sherman tank named Fury and its crew, members of the famous U.S. Third Armored Division.


The film stars Brad Pitt and apparently portrays the war as brutal and gritty rather than the “Good War” of nostalgia.


The New York Times offers an early review of the film.

Northern Illinois University students of HIST 390 History and Film: War in Film will be interested in this review and the forthcoming film.

I will update this post once I am able to see the film.


Posted in European History, Historical Film, History of Violence, War in Film, War, Culture, and Society | Leave a comment

Reconsidering Anti-War Films

As the centennial of the outbreak of the First World War approaches, films about the conflict are being re-examined.  Perhaps the most famous film about the First World War is Lewis Milestone’s All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque, which is often hailed as the quintessential anti-war film because of its depiction of the brutality and horror of trench warfare.

Tom Brook has published a new article on anti-war films in the BBC. “The World War I centenary is giving films that oppose conflict a renewed currency,” he writes. “In London this week an anti-war classic, Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 picture Paths of Glory set in the trenches of World War I, is being screened at a special film season curated by Sir Peter Jackson. In the US this summer several anti-war classics are being shown in a special series at the American Film Institute , including Jean Renoir’s 1937 picture Grand Illusion, which conveys the view that war is futile.”


Image: a still from Stanley Kubrick, Paths of Glory (1957).

The French film director François Truffaut once allegedly remarked that “There’s no such thing as an anti-war film.” Other filmmakers have expressed similar sentiments on the difficulty or impossibility of creating a film that truly opposes war. Brook argues that “There are different ways to interpret this remark but it’s widely agreed that Truffaut was suggesting that movies will inevitably glorify combat when they portray the adventure and thrill of conflict – and the camaraderie between soldiers.”

Tom Brook’s “Is There any Such Thing as an ‘Anti-War Film’?” appears in the BBC online.

Northern Illinois University students in HIST 390 History and Film: War in Film will find this article useful.


Posted in Atrocities, Historical Film, History in the Media, History of Violence, Human Rights, War in Film, War, Culture, and Society | Leave a comment

Summit on Sexual Violence

A global summit is currently being held in London on the problem of sexual violence in warfare. The summit, entitled “The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict,” is sponsored by the government of the United Kingdom.

“For a long time, wartime rape was treated with a shrug. But now, the U.N. has begun to document the problem, to understand just how widespread it is,” according to a report by NPR. “Last year, many countries signed on to a commitment to end sexual violence in conflict. And groups like Physicians for Human Rights are training local doctors in war zones how to take evidence of sexual violence for later use in trials.”


The UK government website has the summit program. NPR reports on the sexual violence summit online.

Researchers and students working on issues of gender and violence in history and society will be interested in this summit’s findings.


Posted in Atrocities, Civil Conflict, Civilians and Refugees in War, Gender and Warfare, History of Violence, Human Rights, Laws of War, War, Culture, and Society, Women and Gender History | 1 Comment

Sikh Clash at the Golden Temple


Sikh Clash at the Golden Temple

Originally posted on Center for the Study of Religious Violence:

Swords crossed at the Golden Temple in Amristar, India, as Sikh activists and guards clashed during a commemoration of the Indian Army assault on the site in the 1984.


“The violence broke out after a group of ‘radical Sikh activists’ wanted to brandish their swords and chant slogans calling for a separate Sikh homeland, or Khalistan,” according to a NPR article, based on reporting by the Times of India.

The 1984 assault on the holiest Sikh religious site provoked retaliatory attacks by Sikhs, including the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

NPR reports on the violence at the Golden Temple.

View original

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A Sequel to Restrepo

A sequel (of a sort) to Restrepo, the 2010 documentary film by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington about combat at a firebase in Afghanistan, is being released.

The new documentary, Korengal, by Sebastian Junger attempts to contextualize the broader conflict in Afghanistan using interviews and unused footage from the earlier documentary film. Photographer Tim Hetherington was killed in the Libyan Civil War, but his footage is used in the new film.

The new film and the original documentary together provide interesting material on 21st-century combat, soldiers’ experiences of warfare, and war reporting.

NPR reports on Korengal.

Northern Illinois University students in HIST 390 History and Film: War in Film may be interested in this story.

Posted in Historical Film, History in the Media, History of Violence, War in Film, War, Culture, and Society | Leave a comment

Oral History Researcher Position

The HistoryMakers seeks to hire a full time Oral History Researcher to complete in-depth research for its video oral history interviews across a wide variety of occupations and fields (i.e. STEM, law, art, education, music, etc.). The researcher/writer will be responsible for:

• Conducting background research on outstanding African Americans to locate their contact information and biographical information prior to interviews using the Internet and online resources.

• Researching and preparing detailed research outlines as well as long and short biographies in accordance with The HistoryMakers style.

• Evaluating and processing The HistoryMakers interviews consistent with The HistoryMakers standards

Candidates must have strong administrative(type 60 wpm) and organizational skills. They must be strong researchers, writers and adept at proofreading. Prior experience with detailed paper file and desktop management is critical as well as proven experience in a non-profit setting. Candidates must also demonstrate their interest in furthering The HistoryMakers mission and growth

The HistoryMakers is a national 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating an unprecedented national video oral history archival institution recording the stories of both well known and unsung African American HistoryMakers. The goal is to record at least 5000 oral history interviews and to expose this material to the public through strategic media, technology, academic and community partnerships.

The HistoryMakers

c/o Julieanna Richardson

1900 S. Michigan Ave.

Chicago, IL 60616




Posted in Careers in History, History in the Media, Jobs and Positions | Leave a comment