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The New York Military Affairs Symposium (NYMAS), is an independent, not for profit educational body. The membership includes scholars, active and retired military personnel, and concerned civilians. NYMAS is devoted to increasing public knowledge, awareness and understanding of military history, arms control, international relations, defense policy, disarmament, civil-military relations, international security, Veterans Affairs and the interrelationship of war, society, and culture through the presentation and dissemination of diverse scholarly viewpoints.

Background[]

NYMAS has it origins in the late 1970s, when some graduate students in military history from CUNY, members of the Arms Control Workshiop at Columbia University, and a number of interested laymen began holding periodic informal study groups, at Columbia, the Loeb Student Center at New York University, the former CUNY Graduate Center on 42nd Street, and in private homes. On occasion, members were able to arrange for distinguished historians and other scholars to meet with the group, often over dinner. In 1982 NYMAS was incorporated as a not-for-profit academic organization under the laws of the State of New York.

Overview[]

Since incorporation, NYMAS has hosted more than a thousand guests, including scholars working in many diverse disciplines, as well as journalists, graduate students, active and former military personnel, museum curators, peace activists, novelists, diplomats, political leaders, documentarians, and many more. Many guests have been well-established scholars or specialists in their fields, such as Sir Michael Howard, Gerhard Weinberg, Gary Sick, Geoffrey P. Megargee, Peter Paret, David Glantz, Morris Rossabi,[1], Sir John Keegan, Thomas Fleming, Sir Jeremy Black, Gunther E. Rothenberg [2], Ellen Schrecker, Sir Max Hastings, David Kahn, Susan Shwartz, Kevin Baker, Theodore Cook, and Christopher Duffy. Most, however, have been younger scholars, a number of whom have subsequently attained some measure of fame, such as James S. Corum,[3] Ross Hassig, David Petraeus, Peter R. Mansoor [4], and Arden Bucholz [5], to note but a few.

NYMAS currently presents approximately twenty to twenty-five lectures each academic year. These are given by scholars, journalists, diplomats, active and retired military personnel, and knowledgeable lay folk represent viewpoints all across the political spectrum. In addition, NYMAS usually holds two day-and-a-half conferences each year, bringing together scholars, veterans, diplomats, and others, to explore a particular topic in some depth, and occasionally holds special events.

Sampling of programs[]

A very short list of some of the hundreds of talks given over the years will illustrate the breadth of interests that have found a venue at NYMAS.

• “Imperialism and World System Formation: The Case of Teotihuacan”

• “Strategy and Technology in the American Civil War”

• “Ancient Greek and Roman Military Leadership” • “The French Army and the Dreyfus Affair” • “Islamic-Mongol Warfare”

• “’High Treason’: The Stalinist Purges”

• “William Donovan, Mussolini, and the Ethiopian War”

• “Amphibious Warfare Doctrine in the Inter-War Years”

• “Fortification and Authority in Medieval Ireland” • “Racism in the Frontier Army”

• “The Battle of Brooklyn” • “Hell Fighters from Harlem”

• “Horses, Hitler, and the German Army”

• “The Jewish Contribution in The Civil War”

• “Winston Churchill and the Dardanelles”

• “Warfare in Roman Britain”

• “My Lai and the International Criminal Court,” • “Taranto: Europe's Pearl Harbor?”

• “Warfare Among the Northwest Coast Indians”

• “Eighteenth Century British Amphibious Operations in the Caribbean”

• “Women Writers, National Socialism, and World War II”

• “Airpower in the Spanish Civil War”

NYMAS talks have occasionally been broadcast on CSPN's Book TV

NYMAS conferences have dealt with such topics as "The New Balkan Wars", "1942: Year of Decision", "The Novelist and the Historian", "The Invasion of Japan, 1945", "Military Operations on the Eastern Front, 1944-1945", "Longstreet Reconsidered", which led to the publication of James Longstreet: The Man, the Soldier, the Controversy (1998)[6], and “The Makers of Non-Western Strategy." NYMAS often co-sponsors events, over the years having partnered with the CUNY Office of Veterans' Affairs, Independent Network News, the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy, the New York City CWRT, the New York University East Asian Studies Program, the Western Front Association, Weaponry (radio program) on WBAI, and other groups in arranging lectures or conferences.

In addition to lectures and conferences, NYMAS has occasionally sponsored or co-sponsored special events, such as museum tours, film screenings, staff rides, and historical re-enactments.

NYMAS book awards[]

NYMAS publishes a quarterly review of recent literature for members, and annually presents The Arthur Goodzeit Book Award, for the best new work in military history or a related field, and The NYMAS Civil War Award, which can go to a notable new book on the American Civil War or to a distinguished scholar for lifetime achievement. The NYMAS websites [7] and [8] carries a variety of resources, such as the current lecture schedule, scholarly papers, book extracts, podcasts of recent lectures, and other reference materials, including lists of books and scholars who have received the NYMAS awards.

Venue[]

NYMAS talks are generally held on Fridays at 7:00 pm during the academic year. For the 2009-2010 academic year, talks will be held at the Soldiers', Sailors', Marines', Coast Guard and Airmen's Club ([9]), located at 283 Lexington Avenue, at 37th Street in midtown Manhattan.

Legal status and administration[]

NYMAS is a tax exempt membership corporation chartered under the laws of New York State and is associated with the Society for Military History, Region 2.

Presidents of NYMAS:

• Prof. Brian R. Sullivan, Yale, The Naval War College, & National Defense University, 1982-1990

• Prof. David Syrett, CUNY, 1990-2004

• Prof. David Gordon,[10] CUNY, 2004-date

External links[]

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