During the 2022-2023 academic year, Interdisciplinary Studies Prof. Ian Isherwood ’00 is serving as the Harold Keith Johnson Chair of Military History at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a graduate-level educational institution preparing military, civilian, and international officers for senior leadership. Among the War College’s notable alumni is President Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose legacy of leadership grounds Gettysburg College’s Eisenhower Institute.
“I am very excited to work as a historian at the U.S. Army War College,” Isherwood said. “I am deeply honored to be selected as this year’s Harold K. Johnson Chair and to follow in the footsteps of a long list of military historians who have held this position.”
As chair, the most prestigious visiting professorship at the U.S. Army War College, Isherwood joins the academic Department of National Security and Strategy, which focuses on international relations, politics, economics, regional studies, history, and national and international security studies. This fall, he is teaching the Theories of War and Strategy core course, followed by an elective in the spring, and is also a participating faculty member in the War College’s seminar lecture series.
“I am also very excited to work in professional military education and to learn from my students and my new colleagues,” added Isherwood, who is a historian of war with a specialized focus on British history during World War I. “I expect that I will learn as much from them as they will from me.”
The Gettysburg graduate received his master’s from Dartmouth College in 2006 and Ph.D. in history from the University of Glasgow’s Scottish Centre for War Studies in 2012. Isherwood authored Remembering the Great War in 2017 and has published many scholarly works on the history of war. At the U.S. Army War College, Isherwood will be finishing one long-term book project in British military history and beginning another book on the politics of American war memory.
Having taught at his alma mater for more than a decade in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the site of the decisive Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War in 1863, Isherwood continually places an emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches when examining war studies and is bringing that same approach to the U.S. Army War College.
“Gettysburg is a place that provides a good starting point to reflect upon the intersection of important political, social, and cultural aspects of violence—legacies that resonate forward from the past and seize the imagination of those in the present,” Isherwood said. “In my time as a faculty member here, I have offered a variety of courses to challenge our students to think broadly about the subject of war from an interdisciplinary and international perspective. I hope to bring some of my perspective as a civilian history professor to the War College and to learn new approaches to teaching war studies from such a talented team of scholars in my new department.”
Isherwood is also a member of the International Society for First World War Studies and The Society for Military History, and was elected in 2018 as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society for his contribution to historical scholarship.
By Megan Miller
Photo by Shawna Sherrell