Conference Program

85th Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History

 Landscapes of War and Peace

April 5 - 8, 2018, Louisville, Kentucky

Title: Battlefield Germany: Militarized Landscapes in Cold War Central Europe
Abstract: During the more than forty year-long Cold War confrontation in Central Europe, about 22 million Americans lived in the Federal Republic of Germany as military personnel, dependents, and civilian workers. This roundtable will consider the origins, development, and consolidation of this remarkable and durable military buildup abroad.

Benjamin Greene and Jared Donnelly both look at specific regions of Germany and their relationship with American forces. Greene's research focuses on West Berlin and the important roles that American personnel played as "cultural ambassadors" in the embattled city.
Donnelly will discuss the establishment of US Air Force facilities in the 1950s, with a particular focus on the German state of Rhineland-Pfalz. What did the concentration of American air power in a relatively small and previously rural state mean for German base communities?

Adam Seipp will examine debates in Germany about American maneuver rights in the 1950s to make the argument that the American presence provided a forum for Germans to contest their own recent past. Finally, Nicholas Schlosser expands our understanding of "landscape" by looking at the "soundscape" of the Cold War. Radio in the American Sector (RIAS) emerged as a critical node in the information conflict between the superpower blocs. Schlosser considers the overt and covert battle waged by the German Democratic Republic against western broadcasting.

The roundtable format is ideal for this discussion. Much of the research being presented is in early stages and would benefit from the input of other panelists, the moderator, and the audience.

We are also very excited about the intellectual and institutional diversity represented here. Our moderator works for America's largest professional organization for historians. Two of our panelists are faculty members at civilian universities. One panelist is a research historian for the US Army and other is on the faculty of a PME institution.
Adam Seipp, Texas A&M University
Jared Donnelly, United States Air Force Air Command and Staff College
Emily Swafford, American Historical Association
Nicholas Schlosser, US Army Center of Military History
Benjamin Greene, Bowling Green State University

College of Arts and Sciences

Gottschalk Hall
University of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky 40292

Office Hours

M-F 8:00am to 5:00 pm


tel (502) 852-6817

fax (502) 852-0770

Social Media