Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Blog CLIX (159): Honors and Infamy to the Blog

Every once in a while, it is interesting to take time to see how people are reacting to "In the Service of Clio."  In her blog, "From PhD to Life," Jennifer Polk is treating me as a major...well, perhaps "important" is a better word...voice in calls for reform of the academic job market, or at least in regards to the history Ph.D. "I don’t know the answer to Saratakes’s question about 'how this ends.' What I do know is that a major attitude adjustment is called for, alongside serious reforms to graduate education." Since Polk is a career coach, she might know something about career management. That quote refers to Blog CXXXVII: Tell Me How This Ends?

On the other hand, Allen Ruff and Steve Horn, journalists working in Madison, Wisconsin, do not think much of grand strategy programs and sees it as part of the military-industrial complex. They have a long essay on Ruff's blog that explores the grand strategy network entitled: "Serving Empire: Grand Strategy at the Long War University." In it they state: "Currently serving the national security warfare state, a matrix of closely tied university-based strategic studies ventures, the so-called Grand Strategy Programs, have cropped up on a number of elite campuses around the country" Ruff and Horn add: "The network marks the ascent and influence of the Long War University." The post is long, but hardly says anything analytical. The 2010 “Workshop on the Teaching of Grand Strategy” that I wrote about in Blog LVIII: A Teaching Workshop is referred to as a "Long War University Homecoming." This posting on "In the Service of Clio" is cited as a source for this essay.   The two note: "The NWC retreat might best be described as an imperial war hawk’s 'how-to' teach-in." Ruff and Horn, however, do not do much other than quote the titles of our sessions. It is all very "right-wingy." 

I found the essay amusing more than anything else.  If you read my account, it was not a very exciting gathering.  We talked about teaching.  What books we use.  Issues like that.  While Ruff's blog had a neat look to it with a black background, I was disappointed that neither I nor most of my NWC colleagues were mentioned by name.  (One person from the Strategy Department made it in the post).  I guess I am not one of the "cool kids" in the network.  Bummer.

Guess, I better get back to blogging about history.

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