Generally speaking, this class intends to expose the students to basic concepts in military history and philosophy, and to encourage them to think critically and in an informed fashion upon the topic of war. Understanding war is not something specifically for men or women, Republicans or Democrats (or Independents), or any specific group. Learning about war is useful for all citizens, who have the right to truly understand what their representatives mean when they make decisions about war.
Concepts from military theory also have many practical applications. Companies these days often hire people from the army as consultants, since military thought simply provides a sophisticated system to make momentous decisions under pressure, and to motivate others to act. My classes about military thinking and culture are routinely attended by students interested in business, management, leadership, politics, history, and humanities in general. Even before approaching the job market, students will be able to draw many useful insights from military strategy and tactics, which can then be applied during their years at IU. As a student of my Arts of War class said, "This is knowledge you can really use!"
This class discusses the intersections of culture, technology, materials, and military practices in various manifestations of war throughout history. The class approaches the topic of war from a vast variety of perspectives, ranging from military theory and history of warfare to representations of war in fiction, descriptions of war experiences in personal memories, and playable models of conflict. Arts of War embraces the recent turn in military history from the search for general patterns in warfare to a nuanced understanding of war as an ever changing expression of time and place, which is shaped by culture as much it shapes culture in return. The class will also make ample use of map-based war games that will ask the students to make complex decisions and see history from the perspective of its protagonists. Similarly, we will analyze wartime diplomacy by using role-immersion pedagogy. The students will play the role of key historical figures in times of crisis, will try to advance their character's objectives along historical lines, and will make arguments and respond to objections from the perspective of their character.
Catalog Information: COLL-S 103 FRESHMAN SEMINAR IN A & H