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Forgotten Warriors: The Long History of Women in Combat

Date & Time

Dec. 4, 2023
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET


Online Only
Zoom Webinar


Why was it possible for the US to have women astronauts thirty years before women in combat? The answer, Sarah Percy argues, is that a faulty recollection of military history apparently demonstrated that women had never been in (or anywhere near) combat. In her new book, Forgotten Warriors, Percy demonstrates that women were in fact common actors on the battlefields of history, explains why and when they disappeared from those battlefields, and how they fought their way back into combat roles. Her goal is to demonstrate how combatant women are not just historical exceptions, but part of the warp and weft of military history.

Sarah Percy is Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Sarah received her masters and doctorate from Balliol College, Oxford, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar. Her first book, Mercenaries, traced the origins and development of a norm against mercenary use from medieval times to the war in Iraq. Sarah has also published extensively on maritime security, particularly piracy and organized crime at sea, and her research on Somali piracy was featured in the production notes of the film Captain Phillips.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partner (the George Washington University History Department) for their continued support.


Sarah Percy

Sarah Percy

 Associate Professor of International Relations, University of Queensland


 Audrey Kurth Cronin

Audrey Kurth Cronin

Founding Director of the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Strategy and Technology (CMIST) 
Charli Carpenter

Charli Carpenter

Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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