This conference, to be held at the University of New South Wales, Canberra, 13–14 July 2017, will explore military tasks beyond the battlefield. Histories of the ‘frontline’ overshadow the study of ‘other’ vital military tasks, such as ‘aid to the civil power’, oceanographic research, aerial surveillance, which, along with tasks like training foreign militaries and combating transnational crime, have traditionally received little historical attention. Similarly, the interaction between the military and service families, or the involvement of soldiers in diplomatic or other government activities, are often excluded from the study of armed forces. ‘Beyond Combat’ will consider such activities at the intersection of ‘traditional’ military history and the application of more varied historical approaches, such as those focusing on gender, race and economic imperatives.
The organisers invite proposals for 20-minute (2,000 word) papers that engage with these issues and consider related themes. The deadline for proposals is Saturday 15 April 2017.