Military history has long been an area of strength for Kansas State University’s history department.
Five faculty members concentrate on some aspect of military history, and have published an impressive range of books and articles. David Graff works on China and East Asia, specifically ancient and medieval Chinese warfare. The department has three Americanists who focus on military history: Donald Mrozek looks at air power as well as cultural aspects of warfare. Mark Parillo is interested in naval history and World War II. Kristen Epps' research focuses on the Civil War and Reconstruction in 19th Century U.S. history. Mary Elizabeth Walters focuses on humanitarian interventions, peacekeeping initiatives, the 1999 Kosovo Refugee Crisis, the Balkans, and cultural approaches to military history.
This concentration of faculty has produced a critical mass of graduate students who focus on some aspect of military history broadly considered. As faculty interests range widely across the field, student research covers traditional operational military history alongside approaches one might term “war and society,” incorporating culture, technology, or gender. Our masters graduates have gone on to careers in public history, to government service, or to Ph.D work (here and elsewhere). Our Ph.D graduates have taken traditional teaching positions at a wide range of institutions. They have also gone on to museum and archival jobs, and a substantial number work as staff historians for the US military.
Kansas State enjoys strong relationships with a variety of institutions in the region, providing students with a range of research and professional opportunities. This includes the Truman and Eisenhower Presidential Libraries, where many students conduct research for seminar papers, theses, or dissertations and gain valuable experience in public history. Kansas State has many close ties to Fort Riley and its Cavalry Museum, and also collaborates with Fort Leavenworth on a variety of educational and research initiatives.
The Kansas State faculty encourage potential students to contact them with any questions relating to their research or to graduate study in the field.