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K-State Today

June 11, 2014

Andrew Orr awarded National Endowment for the Humanities summer fellowship

Submitted by Louise Breen

Andrew Orr, assistant professor of history, has won a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to participate in the summer seminar, "World War I in the Middle East and North Africa," at Georgetown University.

The Summer Fellowship will provide funding for Orr to participate in the monthlong seminar and conduct his own research at the U.S. National Archives and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation in Washington, D.C. He also will have the opportunity to interact with scholars working on similar topics from a variety of different disciplinary specializations.

Orr, a specialist in the history of modern France, will study French involvement in the Middle East in the immediate postwar period, exploring how the experience of the war, coupled with assumptions based on ethnicity, caused French officials to interpret Turkish anti-colonialism as the product of German and Russian intelligence agencies' machinations, rather than as a political movement that genuinely expressed the sensibilities and interests of Turks, Arabs and Kurds.

These officials, according to Orr, "treated a national revolt against the threatened imposition of colonial rule as a proxy war against a nonexistent alliance between Communist Russia and Weimar Germany, which they believed was controlling the Turkish National Movement."

In the history department, Orr teaches courses on World War I, modern France and Western civilization. He received his doctorate in 2007 from Notre Dame University. Prior to coming to K-State in fall 2013, he taught for four years at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where he won the College Teaching Award, and served on the board of directors and as interim director of the Center for Migration and Cross-Cultural Studies.