Lora Vogt, National WWI Museum and Memorial
Lora Vogt, Curator of Education and Interpretation at the Museum and Memorial since 2011, holds degrees in History, Secondary Social Studies Education and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri-Columbia. A secondary school teacher (in Turkey and Missouri) for ten years, she has become a respected WWI authority who regularly speaks on behalf of the Museum and Memorial, including at educator workshops, around the world. Lora heads the Museum and Memorial’s learning initiatives; under her leadership, the Museum and Memorial has reached more than 20 million learner engagements, a number which continues to grow as onsite and online programming expands.
Cherie Kelly, National WWI Museum and Memorial
Cherie Kelly is the Museum and Memorial’s School Programs Manager and holds degrees in History, Literature and Social Studies Education, as well as a master’s degree in History from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has eight years of varied classroom teaching experience, having taught at elementary, high school, college preparation and university levels. Switching to public history at the Museum and Memorial in 2011, Cherie now works with teaching students, developing curriculum, organizing teachers’ programs, presenting public programs, leading educator workshops and presenting national education conference sessions about the Great War.
Middle East Studies Support
Emma Harver, Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies
Emma Harver is the Director of Outreach for the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies. In her role, she works with K-12 and community college educators to increase understanding of the Middle East and North Africa, developing professional development programs and classroom resources on the region, including the multimedia Middle East Explained series. Harver currently serves on the executive boards of the Southeast Regional Middle East and Islamic Studies Society, the national Committee for Undergraduate Middle East Studies, as well as the University Advisory Board for Carolina Public Humanities. Harver holds a M.A. in International Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Yiğit Akın, Ohio State University
Yiğit Akın earned his Ph.D. at the Ohio State University and is currently the Carter V. Findley Associate Professor of Ottoman and Turkish History at the Ohio State University. His research examines the social and cultural history of the late Ottoman Empire and early Republican Turkey, with special focus on the impact of World War I in the region.
Dr. Akın is the author of the prize-winning When the War Came Home: The Ottomans' Great War and the Devastation of an Empire (Stanford, 2018) and is currently at work on a project about the post-war period in the Ottoman Empire.
Mustafa Aksakal, Georgetown University
Mustafa Aksakal earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University and is currently an Associate Professor of History and the Nesuhi Ertegun Chair of Modern Turkish Studies at Georgetown University. He authored The Ottoman Road to War in 1914 (Cambridge University Press); "Holy War Made in Germany? Ottoman Origins of the 1914 Jihad," in War in History; "The Ottoman Empire," in The Cambridge History of the First World War, edited by Jay Winter; and "The Ottoman Empire," in Empires at War, 1911–1923, edited by Robert Gerwarth and Erez Manela. Dr. Aksakal’s current research is focused on the social and political history of the First World War in the Middle East.
Marie Grace Brown, University of Kansas
Marie Grace Brown is a cultural historian of the Modern Middle East with a special interest in questions of gender and empire. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas where she teaches about the Middle East in addition to working closely with the Kansas African Study Center and the Center for Global and International Studies. Dr. Brown’s award-winning book, Khartoum at Night: Fashion and Body Politics in Imperial Sudan was published in 2017 (Stanford University Press).
Kate Dannies, Miami University of Ohio
Kate Dannies is a historian of the Modern Middle East. She earned her Ph.D. from Georgetown University and currently teaches introductory and specialized courses in international studies with an emphasis on the Middle East at Miami University of Ohio. Her current research examines the gender and family politics of military reform and conflict during the Late Ottoman Empire. Dr. Dannies is currently working on A Patriarchy without Men: Crisis and Survival in the Ottoman First World War, a study of the gender politics of welfare and sovereignty during World War I in the Ottoman Empire.
Bedross Der Matossian, University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Bedross Der Matossian completed his Ph.D. in Middle East History at Columbia University, spent several years lecturing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is currently an Associate Professor of Modern Middle East History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His areas of interest include ethnic politics in the Middle East, inter-ethnic violence in the Ottoman Empire, Palestinian history, and the history of Armenian Genocide. His publications include Shattered Dreams of Revolution: From Liberty to Violence in the Late Ottoman Empire (Stanford University Press, 2014) which received numerous awards including the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS) Outstanding Book Award in 2017. He is also the author of The Horrors of Adana: Revolution and Violence in the Early Twentieth Century (Stanford University Press, 2022).
Benjamin Fortna, University of Arizona
Benjamin C. Fortna is a historian of the Modern Middle East with a research focus on the late Ottoman Empire and the early Turkish Republic. Dr. Fortna completed degrees at Yale, Columbia and the University of Chicago and is currently a professor at the University of Arizona and is the Director of the School of Middle Eastern & North African Studies. His publications include Imperial Classroom: Islam, Education and the State in the Late Ottoman Empire (Oxford University Press, 2002) and The Modern Middle East: A Sourcebook for History, co-edited with C. M. Amin and E. B. Frierson (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Graham Auman Pitts, George Washington University
Graham Auman Pitts is a historian of the Middle East's environmental history. He is currently a visiting professor in the Elliott School in International Affairs at George Washington University. Dr. Pitts co-edited and contributed to Making Levantine Cuisine: Modern Foodways of the Eastern Mediterranean (University of Texas Press, 2021) and is writing a monograph about World War I with the working title Food, Famine, and the Making of Lebanon. His work has appeared in Cahiers de l'Orient, the Arab Studies Journal and the Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association.
Christopher S Rose, Our Lady of the Lake University
Christopher S Rose (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) is Assistant Professor of History at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas; he has also taught courses in global studies, history, and Middle Eastern Studies at St Edward’s University and the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on the social history of health and disease in early 20th century Egypt; his most recent article in theJournal of World History discusses the implications the ‘Spanish’ flu outbreak for Egyptian history. An active public historian, he was a founding co-host of the podcast 15 Minute History and is currently a co-host of New Books in Middle Eastern Studies.
Brian L. Steed, Command and General Staff College
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Brian L. Steed has served in uniform since 1989 with command and staff experience at every level from platoon through three-star staff. He is an expert in military theory, history and Middle East culture who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and is now an Associate Professor of Military History at the United States Army Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. Recent publications include ISIS: An Introduction and Guide to the Islamic State (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2016) and Bees and Spiders: Applied Cultural Awareness and the Art of Cross-Cultural Influence (Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency, LLC, 2014).
James Tallon, Lewis University
James Tallon earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago and is currently an Associate Professor of History at Lewis University. Specializing in the history of the Modern Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, the Balkans, Turkey, Nationalism and Islamic Civilization, Dr. Tallon is a prolific writer and conference presenter. He is in the process of completing his book The War for Centralization: Rebellion, State Power and Ottomanism: 1909 – 1912 and is researching his next project The Transformational War: The Ottoman Empire’s Long World War I, 1910 – 1923.
Yücel Yanıkdağ, University of Richmond
Yücel Yanıkdağ earned his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University and is currently a Professor of History and Global Studies at the University of Richmond where he teaches on the Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, and the history of eugenics. Dr. Yanıkdağ is the author of Healing the Nation: Prisoners of War, Medicine and Nationalism in Turkey, 1914 – 1939 (Edinburgh University Press, 2013). Author of a number of other articles and chapters, his new book project explores gender and masculinity in the Ottoman First World War. Aiming also to reach public audiences, he has served both as consultant and expert commentator for several international documentaries on the First World War.
Due to the nature of the topic, the speakers are all historians. However, they approach WWI through a variety of lenses: public history and “practical historical applications” (Vogt, Kelly, Harver), social-cultural (Akın, Yanıkdağ, Dannies), social and political (Aksakal, Tallon, Der Mastossian), environmental history (Pitts), along with education and intellectual developments in the late Ottoman Empire (Fortna).
Military history and political science, including a rich 21st century Middle East experience, are LTC Steed’s specialties.
Dr. Brown’s focus on diplomatic history includes a focus on Western imperialism in Africa and the Middle East.
Dr. Brown, Dr. Yanıkdağ, and Dr. Dannies also research topics in gender studies, which informs their perspectives on the Great War.
The National WWI Museum and Memorial is America's museum dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community.
The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at the University of Arizona (UA) supports and promotes Middle East language and Middle East studies-related teaching and research throughout the University, and fosters understanding of the Middle East through an extensive program of outreach to schools and the wider community.
The Consortium in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University seeks to encourage and facilitate collaboration and cooperation in all aspects of Middle Eastern studies across the two campuses and across disciplines. A focus on interdisciplinary work is one of the Consortium’s hallmarks.
In Loving Memory
Lisa Adeli was the primary architect of the institute’s proposal and without her influence and talents it would not have come to fruition. This institute is dedicated with much love and admiration to Lisa’s memory. She was the Director of Educational Outreach at the University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies when she crafted this institute’s design, held a Ph.D. in Balkan and Ottoman Studies, had extensive experience in high school teaching and was also a director of a similar 2019 NEH program.
A Museum and Memorial Teacher Fellow in 2012-13, Lisa was a featured speaker at the 2014 symposium “1914: Global War and American Neutrality.” Take a few moments on the Museum and Memorial’s YouTube channel to view her symposium talk “Ottoman Entry into WWI: Politics, Nationalism and Diplomacy” or her teaching webinars about the impact of the First World War on the Middle East.