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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Sir Hew Strachan

The Department of History, in partnership with the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, will host a symposium marking the 100th anniversary of the war. “The War to End All Wars: U.S. National World War I Centennial Symposium, 1916-2016” will be presented on the Ohio State campus on Thursday, October 27, and Friday, October 28. Most events are free and open to all.

Ohio State was chosen by the commission to host the event “because of the strength of our military history program, which is among the best if not the best in the United States,” explained Peter Mansoor, colonel, U.S. Army (retired), who is the Gen. Raymond E. Mason, Jr. Chair of Military History. "The symposium is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our program to the local community and through webcasting to the general public and school audiences."

The event will include a keynote address Thursday evening by Sir Hew Strachan (right), the world’s leading historian of the First World War. Strachan will discuss the killing fields of 1916, the year that witnessed horrendous fighting at Verdun and on the Somme.

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The Ohio State University seeks a director for the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. The center is the intellectual center on campus for the study of national and international security in a global context. It brings together top faculty from across campus and beyond to promote multi-disciplinary collaboration, high quality scholarship, and public outreach that addresses the questions central to security studies, broadly defined. Ohio State's Office of International Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences sponsor this position jointly. The director will be expected to pursue an active research agenda and to carry a half-time teaching load in his or her department.

Qualifications: The Mershon Director must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree and have a record of successful publication and teaching that justifies appointment at the rank of full professor. Experiences in governmental, inter-governmental, and/or non-governmental institutions and agencies dealing with security issues are desirable, as is significant experience of international engagement and collaboration generally. Applicants should have a track record of academic leadership including grant seeking and institution building.

Application Instructions: More information about the position including an application form and instructions can be found at Academic Jobs Online at https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/8055. All applicants should submit a curriculum vitae and a cover letter briefly (1-2 pages) explaining why they are interested in the position and describing their vision of international security studies going forward. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled but those received by October 24, 2016, will receive priority consideration. Inquiries may be directed to Richard Herrmann at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last week almost 250 people attended a lively debate on the foreign policies of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, organized by the Ohio State chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society at Saxbe Auditorium, Moritz College of Law.

"Trump vs. Clinton: What 2016 Means for the World" featured Nick Dowling, president of IDS International, speaking in support of Clinton, and Randy Schweller, professor of political science, speaking in support of Donald Trump. Moderating the debate was AHS faculty adviser Peter Mansoor, Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History. Mansoor and Schweller are affiliates of the Mershon Center.

The debate was lively and engaging, with presentations from Dowling and Schweller and lots of questions from students. Martin Lopez, president of the AHS Ohio State chapter, opened and closed the event. You can see a slideshow of photos from the debate (sound included) below.

Janet Parrott

Kevin McClatchy

"Responsibility, Morality and the Costs of War: PTSD, Moral Injury and Beyond" was a major interdisciplinary symposium that blended performing and visual arts with leading research to explore the costs of war. Organized by Kevin McClatchy and Janet Parrott of the Department of Theatre, the symposium took place November 12-14, 2015, at The Ohio State University.

A grant from the Mershon Center allowed organizers to bring speakers, artists and panelists, including keynote speaker Jonathan Shay, as well as featured participants Genevieve Chase, Heather Courtney, Dominic Fredianelli and Bianca Sams. The three-day event spoke to the challenges that confront veterans from the numerous sites of conflict around the world. See a slideshow of photos from the symposium (sound included) below.

Among the highlights:

  • Jonathan Shay, author of Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character and Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming, delivered the keynote address.
  • Emmy and Independent Spirit award-winning filmmaker Heather Courtney screened her film "Where Soldiers Come From," and participated in a panel discussion that included the film’s subject, artist and veteran Dominic Fredianelli.
  • The Department of Theatre’s Lesley Ferris directed staged readings from "Rust on Bone" and interviewed its author playwright Bianca Sams.
  • Genevieve Chase, combat veteran and founder of American Women Veterans, spoke on “My Greater Jihad.”
  • McClatchy performed his solo play, "Scrap Heap," about a Special Forces veteran grappling with his transition to civilian life.

The goal of the symposium was to "bring a diverse collection of people together to share with each other, learn from one another and embark on new ways of thinking, seeing or communicating," McClatchy said. Organizers asked participants "to break new ground in terms of how they experience the costs of war and investigate how the costs of war reverberate within the individual, the community, throughout a nation and on a global stage."

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