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March 1, 2017

A Great War?

TCU will host the second Symposium on War, Conflict and Society this weekend.

TCU great war

Benjamin Schmidt was a Marine sniper in Afghanistan. A symposium honored by the late soldier's parents explores war's consequences on society.

March 1, 2017

A Great War?

TCU will host the second Symposium on War, Conflict and Society this weekend.

Its focus will be on the political and social consequences of World War I, but TCU’s second Symposium on War, Conflict and Society will also honor the memory of a more recent warrior.

In 2011, former TCU student Benjamin Schmidt was killed in Afghanistan, where he was stationed as a U.S. Marine sniper.

Schmidt withdrew from TCU during his sophomore year to join the Marines. He planned on retiring from the military and re-enrolling at TCU to study history.


After his death, TCU created the Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides a scholarship to a graduate student in the history department.

Kara Vuic, associate professor of history at TCU, now holds a faculty position created by Schmidt’s friends and parents.

“This position covers war, conflict and society, and so it was named the Schmidt Professor of War, Conflict, and Society in 20th Century America,” Vuic said.

David and Teresa Schmidt, Benjamin’s parents, were also the founders of the upcoming symposium.


Vuic said that the event will include keynote speaker Adam Hochschild, a lecturer in journalism at the University of California, Berkeley and the co-founder of Mother Jones, a non-profit news organization covering anything from politics to food.

Scholars in two panels and several solo guest speakers will also discuss their views on the political and social consequences of war.

“We are going to talk about why war matters, what it means and how it affected society,” Vuic said.

One of the speakers is Richard Fogarty, an associate professor of history and the associate dean for general education at the State University of New York at Albany. He is the author of Race and War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French army, 1914-1918.