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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 Archive

Dale Center Signature Events and Programs

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.  In addition, the Center promotes cutting-edge scholarship in the field of 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. Dan Rather, legendary journalist, war correspondent, 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 General Buford “Buff” Blount Professorship in Military History was founded in honor of General Buford “Buff” Blount, who graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1971 and went on to a distinguished career in the U.S. military, which included leading the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division into Baghdad in 2003.

The Blount Professorship is awarded biennially to provide funding for the work of a historian at Southern Miss who is engaged in research toward the publication of a major study in the field of military history or war and society.  Several books have been made possible through the support of the Blount Professorship.

The current Blount Professor is Dr. Allison Abra (term: 2019-2021),  who is an Associate Professor of History and a Fellow of the Dale Center, specializing in modern British history, the cultural history of war, war and gender, and 20th-Century home fronts. During her appointment as Blount Professor, Dr. Abra will work on her next book project Love and War: An Emotional History of British Espionage during World War II.

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."

Dale Center faculty, students, alums, and friends at SMH Conference in 2019Dale Center faculty, former faculty, graduate students, alumni, and friends at the Society for Military History's annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio in 2019.