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Welcome to Dr. Peter N. Stearns' blog.

George Mason University Provost, Dr. Peter N. StearnsThe Provost Emeritus, Dr. Stearns is now University Professor in the History & Art History department.

Dr. Stearns served as Mason Provost for over 14 years, helping to oversee a period of rapid growth in enrollment, program development, and research, with concomitant attention to standards of educational quality. Expansion of global activities was an additional agenda priority. Returning to the faculty, Dr. Stearns teaches a variety of courses in history while continuing research and writing in social history, world history, and issues of academic administration.

Contact: Dr. Stearns, Phone: 703-993-4150

A Little Global Review?

A Little Global Review?

One of the advantages of no longer being Provost, but retaining interest in some of the issues that attracted me before, is that there is an opportunity for additional thinking and reflection. This can be slightly embarrassing, when one realizes that some of the thoughts should have been thought before, when there was more chance […]

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The Nuclear Analogy

The Nuclear Analogy

I have been intrigued, recently, by how often the media (particularly, the print media, who still enjoy the time to think) are turning to history to find some guidelines amid current uncertainties. It’s great to be reminded of how essential the discipline is, and I hope anti-humanists will take note. Thus we are told about […]

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Bridging between Expression and Dignity

Bridging between Expression and Dignity

The last few months have seen some unnecessary, and certainly undesirable, tensions emerge between passionate advocates of greater dignity for minorities of various sorts, and partisans of free speech. The issues have roiled a number of campuses and have provided yet another set of targets for critics of higher education. It’s time to step back, […]

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The Challenge of Terror

The Challenge of Terror

In the aftermath of recent attacks, including those in Beirut, in Paris, and apparently against a Russian airliner, and with deep respect to those who have suffered in result, a few thoughts. It is really important to remember several things about terrorism, recently and historically. Terrorists are not able to use conventional military strength OR […]

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My New Book (on higher education)

This blog is only a bit more than a shameless plug for my new book, Guiding the American University: contemporary challenges and choices, which has just been published by Routledge. My flimsy excuse for blogging about it stems from the fact that the book relates strongly to the regular series of blogs I did in […]

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A Little History Contribution for the International Day of Peace

Things You Should Ask Your History Program to Tell You about Peace (or if you’re shaping a program, things you should be sure to include). There are two related problems in urging more attention to the history of peace. First, the risk of seeming naïve or unrealistic; nothing much to do about that, just grit […]

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Journal Editing: it works!

The Tuesday, Aug. 4 Metro section of the Washington Post, on an article published by the Journal of Social History concerning Irish immigrants, makes an implicitly interesting point about journal editing. The article has a needless tendentious heading, and it does not directly explore the editing process involved; hence an additional comment. Here’s the story: […]

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