Collections: Fortification, Part II: Romans Playing Cards

This is the second part of a five part (I) series covering some of the basics of fortifications, from city walls to field fortifications, from the ancient world through the modern period. Last time, we looked as the ancient besieger's playbook (both the motives and options for taking walled cities) through a case study of … Continue reading Collections: Fortification, Part II: Romans Playing Cards

Collections: Fortification, Part I: The Besieger’s Playbook

This is the first part of a planned five-part series covering some of the basics of fortifications, from city walls to castles and field fortifications! We are going to discuss what fortifications were for and how their design changed in response both to different strategic and operational conditions and also to changing technology. Throughout this, … Continue reading Collections: Fortification, Part I: The Besieger’s Playbook

Collections: So You Want To Go To Grad School (in the Academic Humanities)?

Graduate school application season is upon us and so I wanted to take this as an opportunity to talk about it. Every year, I talk with undergraduate students who are considering pursuing a graduate degree in the humanities, who mostly come to me because they know that my graduate school experience was relatively more recent … Continue reading Collections: So You Want To Go To Grad School (in the Academic Humanities)?

Collections: No Man’s Land, Part II: Breaking the Stalemate

Last time, we introduced the factors that created the trench stalemate in the First World War and we also laid out why the popular 'easy answer' of simply going on the defensive and letting the enemy attack themselves to death was not only not a viable strategy in theory but in fact a strategy which … Continue reading Collections: No Man’s Land, Part II: Breaking the Stalemate

Collections: No Man’s Land, Part I: The Trench Stalemate

This week (and next) I want to build a bit off of our discussion of Victoria II and talk a bit about World War I and in particular the trench stalemate on the Western Front. That trench stalemate is, in many countries, synonymous with the war itself. Of course the war was much larger than … Continue reading Collections: No Man’s Land, Part I: The Trench Stalemate

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Victoria II Part III: World’s Fair

This is the third and final part of a three part series (I, II) examining the historical assumptions of Paradox Interactive's 19th and early 20th century grand strategy game, Victoria II. Last time, we looked at how the game's models for the industrial revolution and warfare interacted: by simulating (even in a fairly limited and … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Victoria II Part III: World’s Fair

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Victoria II, Part II: The Ruin of War

This is the second part of a three part series (I) examining the historical assumptions of Paradox Interactive's 19th and early 20th century grand strategy game, Victoria II. Last week, we looked at how Victoria II handles its central, defining theme, the industrial revolution, and the mechanics it employed. We also discussed how Victoria II … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Victoria II, Part II: The Ruin of War

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Victoria II, Part I: Mechanics and Gears

This is the first post in a three-part series that will be examining the historical assumption of Paradox Interactive's grand strategy computer game set in the 19th and early 20th century, Victoria II. Readers will find a number of references here to our previous discussion of one of Paradox's other games, Europa Universalis IV, but … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Victoria II, Part I: Mechanics and Gears

Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans, Part V: Saving And Losing an Empire

This is the fifth and final part (I, II, III, IV) of our series asking the question 'Who were the Romans?' How did they understand themselves as a people and the idea of ‘Roman’ as an identity? Was this a homogeneous, ethnically defined group, as some versions of pop folk history would have it, or … Continue reading Collections: The Queen’s Latin or Who Were the Romans, Part V: Saving And Losing an Empire