Norwich University to host military writers’ symposium

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NORTHFIELD — The 2019 Norwich University Military Writers’ Symposium will be held on Sept. 24–25 on the theme of “Warfare in the 21st Century: Future Battlegrounds.”

A Todd Lecture presentation, “LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media,” will conclude the symposium by one of the authors and panelists, Peter Warren Singer, on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. in Mack Hall Auditorium.

All symposium events except the Meet the Authors dinner are free and open to the public.

Events include book and other presentations and a panel discussion.

The Norwich University Military Writers’ Symposium, now held in the fall, replaces what was formerly the William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium, which was historically held in the spring.

Norwich continues its tradition of recognizing a first work with the annual Colby Award.

In April 2019, Paul Scharre captured the 2019 William E. Colby Award for his book, “Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War.”

Now in its 20th year, the Colby prize is awarded annually by Norwich University in Northfield, to a first solo work of fiction or nonfiction that has made a major contribution to the understanding of military history, intelligence operations or international affairs.

A Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, Scharre’s debut book, “Army of None,” was selected by Bill Gates as one of his top picks of 2018.

Scharre served as a special operations reconnaissance team leader in the U.S. Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion and completed multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Colby Award winners receive a $5,000 author honorarium provided through the generosity of the Chicago-based Pritzker Military Foundation.

The award and honorarium will be presented to Scharre at Norwich University during the Norwich University Military Writers’ Symposium, Sept. 24-25, 2019.

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 2 – 3:30 p.m. Scharre will join Benedetta Berti and Peter Warren Singer for a moderated panel discussion, “Warfare in the 21st Century: Future Battlegrounds.”

The panel discussion will be livestreamed on the Peace and War Center site at:

A book signing event will follow the panel from 3:30 – 4:30.

Later on Wednesday evening, Singer will give a Todd Lecture presentation on the new weaponization of social media in Mack Hall Auditorium at 7 p.m.

That event will be livestreamed at the Todd Lecture website:

Benedetta Berti is an Eisenhower Global Fellow and a TED Senior Fellow.

She has held positions at Harvard University, West Point, the Institute for National Security Studies, and the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Since 2018, she serves as Head of Policy Planning in the Office of the Secretary General at NATO.

Peter Warren Singer has been named by the Smithsonian as one of the nation’s 100 leading innovators; by Defense News as one of the 100 most influential people in defense issues; by Foreign Policy to their Top 100 Global Thinkers List; as an official “Mad Scientist” for the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command; and by Onalytica social media data analysis as one of the 10 most influential voices in the world on cybersecurity and 25th most influential in the field of robotics.

His latest book, “LikeWar,” explores how social media has changed war and politics, and war and politics has changed social media.

Author Ian Brown will give a book presentation at Kreitzberg Library on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 11 a.m. Brown is a U.S. Marine Corps major and CH-53E helicopter pilot.

He has published works on maneuver warfare doctrine and future warfare concepts in the Marine Corps Gazette and online publication War on the Rocks, and is the author of “A New Conception of War.”

Brown’s opinions are his alone and do not reflect those of the Krulak Center, Marine Corps University, United States Marine Corps, Department of Defense, or any part of the U.S. Government. Brown is a 2015 graduate of Norwich’s online Master of Military History program.

For the full schedule, including presentations by Berti and Scharre, please see:

This year’ symposium is presented in partnership with Norwich University’s Todd Lecture Series. The Todd Lecture Series is named in honor of retired U.S. Army Major General Russell Todd and his late wife, Carol, in gratitude for their dedicated service to the university.

General Todd, a 1950 graduate of the university, also serves as president emeritus. With this series, Norwich brings national thought leaders from business, politics, the arts, science, the military and other fields and endeavors to its Northfield campus.