Sunday, August 28, 2011

what's next....

For now "what's next" is getting back to my classes, online and in class.  Week 2 of the semester kicking up tomorrow.  In my senior International Relations class we're reading excerpts from classic works, beginning with The Melian Dialogue from The History of the Peloponnesian War  by Thucydides. I even discovered The Melian Dialogue has own Facebook page!  It only took 2400 years!  The powerful Athenians send a delegate to inform the people of Melos that they would suffer tremendously, ethnic cleansing as we would say today, if they did not surrender and declare allegiance to the Athenian Empire. The Melians, stupefying the Athenians, decline to surrender. They have the support of the gods, and the Spartans, should they face a threat as the Athenians were proposing.  In the months that follow, the Melians make a few tactical strikes against the Athenians, but the Empire keeps its word and society on Melos is violently disassembled.

In my new online class, HIST 4980: Special Topics in Multinational Peacekeeping, the students are currently learning the difficulties of conceptualizing peace operations, much less building generalized theory from a wide diversity of individual cases.  After a few introductory chapters we'll look back at crises in Suez, Congo, Vietnam, Afghanistan (x2) and others.

 As for this blog, I have a couple ideas I'll work out over the next few days. I have the opportunity to present papers at upcoming conferences, and so the blog is intended to get me in the habit and spirit of writing again after too long a time.  Coming soon......

Time to check on the students and see how they're doing.  Have a great week, everyone.

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