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Dale Center for the Study of War and Society

The Dale Center: Center of Military History Excellence

As one of the top military history programs in the country, the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society houses a distinguished academic community with expertise in how conflict affects communities, soldiers, and non-combatants. The Dale Center expands on the field of military history, with its traditional focus on leaders, strategies, and operations, and seeks to identify and understand the social and cultural consequences of war. The Dale Center has earned a reputation as a center of excellence, with its faculty members recognized among the best scholars in the field and its students as noteworthy future scholars.

War Stories: National Guard103 Infantry Division WWII Arc

Dale Center Special Events

The Dale Center hosts a number of important academic and community events throughout the year that bring together scholars, students, and community members around topics dealing with military history and War and Society.

The Lt. Col. John H. Dale Sr. Distinguished Lecture Series in International Security and Global Policy brings prominent voices to Hattiesburg every other year.

The Lt. Col. John H. Dale Sr. Distinguished Lecture Series in International Security and Global Policy honors the late Lieutenant Colonel John H. Dale, Sr., a career member of the military who served in World War II and the Korean War and earned the Bronze Star. He graduated with a Master of Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and later served as Professor of Military Studies for the university’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. The lecture series is made possible through a generous donation by Southern Miss alumna Dr. Beverly Dale, Lt. Col. Dale’s daughter.

The lecture series brings internationally prominent figures in International Security and Global Policy to Hattiesburg to give their assessment of the state of foreign and military affairs. Former speakers include General David Petraeus (US Army Ret.), former Commander, US Central Command and former Director of the CIA; Dr. Robert M. Gates, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director, Dr. Madeline Albright; and Ambassador Wyche Fowler, the former U. S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

The 2019 Dale Distinguished Lecture will be delivered on September 12, 2019 by Mr. Ran Rather, journalist and former Anchor of CBS News.

 The Richard McCarthy Lecture Series was founded in 2006 through the generous support of Dr. Richard McCarthy and Dr. Craig Howard and is designed to bring together students, faculty, and community members to access cutting edge research in the field of military history and War and Society.

Over the years, the McCarthy Lecture Series has provided the campus and Hattiesburg communities a broad range of programming, ranging from a panel discussion led by veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to more academic programs including talks by leading historians of War and Society and military history, such as Sebastian Junger, Jeremy Black, Dennis Showalter, Gary Sheffield, Jeffrey Gray, Brian Linn, Wayne Lee, and John Lynn, just to name a few.

Topics covered by past various lecture series include “Spy Games: War and Espionage in the Twentieth Century,” "It is too furious": Indigenous Warfare in Early North America," “Embedded: War and the Fourth Estate,” “’We Shall Defend our Island’ The British Experience of the World Wars,” “Paradigm Shifts in the History of Warfare,” “Victory Denied: Military Historians Examine Defeat,” “The Southern Way of War,” and “War in the Modern Middle East.”

 The War & Society Roundtable, a joint community and university monthly reading group, has been in existence since 2006. Sponsored jointly by Southern Miss’s Dale Center for the Study of War & Society and the Library of Hattiesburg, Petal, and Forrest County, the Roundtable focuses on a different war and society book each month of the academic year.

A friendly but spirited discussion about the book is moderated by a History faculty member or graduate student from Southern Miss. The Roundtable is a great way for community members, faculty, and students to interact while exploring topics of mutual interest.

Every year the Roundtable is organized by theme. Past themes include: “Two If By Sea,” “War and Memory,” “The Empires Strike Back,” “Rebels Without a Cause,” “Villains & Scapegoats in Military History,” “Spies and Lies: Deception in History,” “Meeting Engagements: Where Conflict and Culture Collide,” “Victory Denied: Military Historians Examine Defeat,” “The Human Face of War: A Year of Memoir and Biography,” and “A Year of War Fiction.”