PhD alum Benjamin Schneider lands postdoctoral position at U.S. Naval War College

Benjamin Schneider, a 2019 graduate of the History Ph.D. program at Mason, has just begun a postdoctoral position at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.  The position is as a Research and Teaching Fellow with the Strategy and Policy Department.  The Naval War College is the oldest, and arguably the most academically rigorous, of the senior service colleges.  The faculty of the Strategy and Policy Department make extensive use of the humanities—history, rhetoric, philosophy in particular—to address pressing questions of national security.

After receiving his B.A. from the University of Rochester and an M.A. from George Washington University, Schneider began the Ph.D. program at Mason in 2012, with an academic focus on military history.  His dissertation, which he completed under the direction of Dr. Christopher Hamner in 2019, is entitled, “No Law Except the Sword: American War Criminals and the Failure of Military Justice, 1942-45.” It examines war crimes committed by American troops in the European Theater of the Second World War, as well as the U.S. army's efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish the perpetrators.  His research demonstrates that while such crimes were common enough to be a significant problem for the allies, the American military justice system was neither inclined nor able to effectively enforce the law on the battlefield.

Dr. Schneider amassed an unusually strong record of accomplishment during his time at Mason.  He was the recipient of GMU’s Presidential Fellowship for the first several years of his program, during which he worked as a research assistant at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media.  He also received dissertation fellowships from both the U.S. Army Center of Military History and the Harry Frank Guggenheim foundation, and his scholarship has appeared in the Journal of Contemporary History.