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Baker Peace Conference to take closer look at World War I

National experts to discuss causes and consequences of war

The Ohio University Contemporary History Institute will sponsor the annual Baker Peace Conference on Thursday, March 20, and Friday, March 21.

The Contemporary History Institute annually hosts the Baker Peace Conference to analyze how peace can be established and maintained throughout the world. It was established in 1984 and is funded by the John and Elizabeth Baker Peace Studies Endowment.

The theme of this year's conference is, "The Great War: A Centennial of the First World War." All events are free and open to the public.

The conference will allow World War I historians from all over the world to present their academic research to the audience.

"We hope audience members will gain greater insight into the causes of the war, as well as the consequences, social, political and military," said Steven Miner, director of the Ohio University Contemporary History Institute. "We have selected speakers with different and sometimes opposed points of view. Attendees will not only be exposed to the best in recent scholarship, they also will have opportunities to question and interact with the participants."

The Baker Peace Conference will begin on Thursday with a keynote address by Professor Sir Hew Strachan of Oxford University at 7:30 p.m. in Baker University Center Ballroom A. His speech is titled "Military operations and national policies 1914-1918."

Strachan has been Chichele Professor of the History of War at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls College since 2002. He served as director of the Oxford Programme on the Changing Character of War from 2003 to 2012. He serves on the Strategic Advisory Panel of the Chief of the Defence Staff and on the UK Defence Academy Advisory Board. In December 2012, Foreign Policy magazine included him in its list of top global thinkers for the year. He was knighted in the 2013 New Year's Honours.

Some of his recent books are The Changing Character of War (2011) and How Fighting Ends: A History of Surrender (2012) with Holger Afflerbach.

On Friday, March 21, there will be three panels discussing topics such as social change and the outbreak of war. The complete schedule for the day is listed below.

Schedule for Friday, March 21, panel discussions
Walter Hall Rotunda, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Panel 1 – Outbreak of War
Sean McMeekin, Koc University, Turkey
Nicholas Lambert, University of Maryland
Keith Neilson, Royal Military College, Canada

Panel 2 – Social Change
Jennifer Keene, Chapman University
Kimberly Jensen, Western Oregon University

Panel 3 – War and Military Change
Dennis Showalter, Colorado College
Leonard V. Smith, Oberlin College
Michael Neiberg, U.S. Army War College

For further information on the 2014 Baker Peace Conference, visit http://www.ohio.edu/conhist/sponsored-events/baker-peace.html.