Dale Center for the Study of War and Society
Dale Center for the Study of War and Society
In 2021, the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society became a sponsor of The Washington Post’s “Made by History” series. Since its founding in 2017, over two thousand scholars have contributed pieces to “Made by History.” Among those scholars are Dale Center faculty and students working diligently to contribute to public conversations on the pressing issues of the day.
Currently led by three historians—Kathryn Cramer Brownell (Purdue University), Carly Goodman (La Salle University), and Brian Rosenwald (University of Pennsylvania). “Made by History” produces rigorous historical analysis of current events and public debates in an easily digestible format for the general public. The combination offers a powerful platform for amplifying the work of historians for millions of readers around the world.
When asked how this partnership developed, Dale Center Co-Director Dr. Heather M. Stur commented:
Before the Dale Center partnered with “Made by History,” Andy Wiest and I had both written pieces for the section as part of our commitment to public engagement. From there, we as a Center realized that “Made by History” is doing something that has always been at the heart of the Dale Center's mission -- to connect with the public by providing historical context for the major military and security issues of our time. It made sense to us to support “Made by History” as an extension of our mission. In turn, the partnership gives our graduate students and faculty who are interested in writing for a public audience the opportunity to learn from professional journalists about the process. We hope that the workshops with “Made by History” editors will result in more public content from Dale Center experts.
Since the official partnership began, USM faculty, graduate students, and alumni have participated in an in-depth seminar with the "Made by History" editorial team on historical writing for the general public. Subsequently, several USM faculty and students have published essays that help the public form a deeper understanding of the historical context surrounding current events. As a testament to their outstanding work, “Made by History” received the 2022 Friend of History Award from the Organization of American Historians (OAH). This award is given annually in recognition of an institution, organization, or individual working primarily outside college or university settings, for outstanding support of historical research, the public presentation of American history, or the work of the OAH.
When asked about the experience and process of writing for “Made by History” and working with the editorial staff, Dale Center alum John DeLee (MA, 2022) commented:
Writing for “Made by History” is a great publishing opportunity for graduate students. It is an amazing feeling to see your name on an article that shares space with some of the most recognized historians. Through the editorial review process, you experience how fellow historians critique and offer improvements on your work. From initial submission to the communication with the editors over corrections and possible content inclusion to final publication, the process helps to improve your skills as a writer and historian. It is also nice to receive feedback from someone outside of your academic institution, as you feel you have broken out of the teacher-student role into one where you are a cohort within the historical profession. My submission was especially enjoyable, as I was able to combine both my historical knowledge as well as my personal military experiences to help shape peoples' understanding on some of the issues involved with the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
DeLee’s experience demonstrates how “Made by History” provides a platform for scholars to foster vital connections between academia and the public to help readers come away not only with a sense of the root causes and contours of today’s most urgent challenges but also with a better understanding of how historians think and work. “Made by History” explores how cultural values, political practices, governing institutions, and economic structures have changed over time, creating a back story for the crises of the moment, one that the public must know if we are to tackle challenging problems and chart an enlightened path for the future.
USM Contributions to "Made by History":
John DeLee, (Dale Center MA), U.S. Military’s Longtime Reliance on Contractors Fueled Afghanistan Loss, October 7, 2021
Dr. Michael Doidge, (Dale Center PhD), For the U.S. military, Coronavirus Vaccination is Akin to Body Armor, August 19, 2021
Dr. Andrew Wiest, (Dale Center Founding Director) The U.S. Failed to Learn the Lesson of Vietnam. Will it Learn from Afghanistan?, August 16, 2021
Dr. Joseph Peterson, (USM History Faculty), What Tucker Carlson’s Trip to Hungary Reveals About the State of our Politics, August 11, 2021
Dr. Heather M. Stur, (Dale Center Co-director), Men-only Selective Service Registration May End Soon, But the Fight will Remain, April 15, 2021
The Dale Center's partnership with "Made by History" is made possibler by the generosity of several donors. To make a contribution, please see the Dale Center's donation page.