Campus News

History professor included on panel on historical terrorism

John Morrow, professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences’ history department, was included on a panel to discuss documenting terrorism for history, according to American Legion.

The panel was hosted by the annual Pritzker Military Museum and Library’s On War Military History Symposium, this year held in Chicago. The symposium focused on how to document war history, particularly during the age of the war on terror, and the difficulties that historians face.

Some panelists discussed how historians face challenges including finding sources, achieving objectivity and conducting interviews when trying to document wartime events. While the military of various countries sometimes has more in-depth records, they are not always available for historians, particularly for conflicts that are ongoing.

Morrow argued that one challenge of documenting war history is the ability to see the whole picture. Some conflicts have centuries of buildup, and to understand the wars of today, you have to first understand how they got there.

Morrow explained how the current invasion of Ukraine can be tracked back centuries. The Chechens originally lived in Ukraine until Josef Stalin moved them east into Central Asia, he said. That means that we have to literally examine hundreds of years of history to look at this conflict holistically.

“The next thing you know, in the 20th century, (Vladimir) Putin is fighting a war in Chechnya and levels the city of Grozny as an example to them. There are historical antecedents between the Russians and the Ukrainians that go all the way back to the early history of the Middle Ages,” he said.