Call for Papers

87th Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History
“Policy by Other Means”
April 30-May 3, 2020

Hosted by the Army Historical Foundation

The Society for Military History is pleased to announce a call for papers for its 87th Annual Meeting, hosted by the Army Historical Foundation in Arlington, VA.

For the 2020 meeting, the Program Committee will consider paper and panel proposals on all aspects of military history, especially encouraging submissions that reflect on this year’s theme, Policy by Other Means.

We invite submissions that examine war and other military operations as instruments of policy, to include topics such as grand strategy, coalition warfare, military diplomacy, humanitarian interventions, peacekeeping and nation building, military occupation and government, and “gray zone” competition, as well as the pursuit of domestic policy objectives via military means. While submissions that address the conference theme are encouraged, submissions that focus on other topics will also be entertained by the Program Committee.

Submissions of pre-organized panels and roundtables are strongly encouraged and will be given preference in the selection process. Panel, paper, and poster proposals will clearly explain their topics and questions in ways that will be understandable to the broad membership of the SMH, not only to those interested in the specific topics in question. Additionally, the SMH encourages the representation of the full diversity of its membership and especially values panel and roundtable proposals that reflect the organization’s diversity of institutional affiliations, various career paths and ranks, gender, race, and ethnicity.

Panel proposals must include a panel title and 300-word abstract summarizing the theme of the panel; paper title and a 300-word abstract for each paper proposed; and a one-page curriculum vitae for each panelist (including the chair and commentator) that includes institutional affiliation, email address, and other contact information.

Roundtable proposals must include a roundtable title, the full name and institutional affiliation of each participant, a 300-word abstract summarizing the roundtable’s themes and points of discussion, and a one-page curriculum vitae for each participant (including the moderator, if any). Individual paper proposals are also welcome and must include a 300-word abstract of the paper, and one-page vita with contact information and email address. If accepted, individual papers will be assigned by the program committee to an appropriate panel with a chair and commentator. Those who wish to volunteer to serve as chairs and commentators should notify the Program Committee Chair, Heather Perry, at and include a one-page curriculum vitae with their message.

Proposals will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Proposal explains the topic, research questions, methodologies, and historiographic significance in ways that specialists and non-specialists alike can understand. (10 points)
  • Proposal presents new findings or revisions of long-held interpretations. (10 points)
  • Proposal addresses the conference theme. (5 points)
  • Proposal reflects the SMH’s diversity of institutional affiliations, various career paths and ranks, gender, race, and ethnicity. (Does not apply to individual submissions) (5 points)
Participants may present one paper, serve on a roundtable, or provide panel comments. They may not fill more than one of these roles during the conference, nor should they propose to do so to the Program Committee. Members who act as panel chairs for only one session may deliver a paper, serve on a roundtable, or offer comments in a different session.  Members who serve as both the chair and commentator of a single session may not present in another session unless they do so at the invitation of the SMH leadership.

All submissions must be made through the 2020 SMH Submission Portal at  One person will need to gather all required information for panel and roundtable submissions and enter the information in the portal.  Individual paper and submissions can be made by the individual. For questions about the submission process, contact

All proposals must be submitted by October 1, 2019. All accepted presenters, chairs, and commentators must be members of the Society for Military History by December 31, 2019, to be placed on the conference program.

A Young Scholars call for papers (for BA and MA students) will be circulated at a later date.

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