War Seminar

Part of the School of History.

The War Seminar learning project is devoted to discussions about the history of war as a cultural practice and current wars in the world.


Learning Project SummaryEdit

This learning project hosts discussions about war.


This learning project offers learnings activities that encourage the participation of Wikiversity editors who are interested in war as a cultural phenomenon.

Concepts to learn include: the causes of war and the history of attempts to limit the number and destructiveness of wars.

Learning materialsEdit

Learning materials and learning projects are located in the main Wikiversity namespace. Simply make a link to the name of the lesson (lessons are independent pages in the main namespace) and start writing!

You should also read about the Wikiversity:Learning model. Lessons should center on learning activities for Wikiversity participants. Learning materials and learning projects can be used by multiple projects. Cooperate with other departments that use the same learning resource.

  • Terminology and vocabulary - differences between war, battle, occupation, conflict and invasion.
  • Roadmaps to peace - discussion of historical examples of how wars end and plans for ending existing wars
    • Peace accords, peace treaties and truces; synonyms and differences.
    • Symbols of Peace.
    • Conflict resolution - an overview.
    • Diplomacy - practical; historical examples.
  • Religion and war - discussion of the role of religion in war
  • Terrorism and war - discussion of the role of terrorism in war
  • War and laws - discussion of laws that regulate the conduct of war
    • Survey of constitutional procedures of different countries
      • Japan limitations and amendments to declaration of war
      • US Congress and the declarations of war
    • Geneva Convention
  • Art and War -- war as an art and artistic representations of war

Content summaryEdit

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  • School: History
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  • Lesson 1:
    • Glossary for Lesson I: terminology and vocabulary.
    • Brief survey of Geography: rivers and seas. Continents and countries. Theaters.
    • Gods and goddesses of war: brief survey of mythological deities.


1. Take a look at Sun Tzu's ART OF WAR at [1] Make a list of 10 issues that Sun Tzu raises.

2. Now read this poem out loud:

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?

Only the monstrous anger of the guns.

Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle

Can patter out their hasty orisons.

No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells,

Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,--

The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;

And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?

Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes

Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.

The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;

Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,

And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds

Wilfred Owen


  • Activity 1

Ask your family members and friends what they understand by the word "war." Take notes of their comments.

  • etc. If you want to, gather together in real time or here at wikiversity (click on the discussion tab at the top of this page), and compare reactions and thoughts. What consensus, if any, can you reach? What differences in views do you see? Are these differences related to age, gender, race, religious beliefs or what?
  • Activity 2

Read the information about Wilfred Owen at Wikipedia. Share the poem with others and dicuss how Owen's language, imagery, method of argumentation (poem versus treatise) lead him to make the conclusions about war that he does. If you want, do some research about World War I. Discuss with others in realtime and/or post your thoughts on the discussion page. If you like this poem, do some research on line and see if you can find more poems by this poet.


Each activity has a suggested associated background reading selection.


Additional helpful readings include:

War: A Reader's Guide, from the New York Times

Active participantsEdit

Active participants in this Learning Group