Gordon R. Mork Award in Global History

 

Gordon R. Mork photo

 

This award honors our colleague, Professor Emeritus Gordon Robert Mork (1938-2012), who taught in the Department of History from 1970 to 2010. Gordon earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1966.  His research topics included modern German history, the Holocaust, the Oberammergau Passion Play and History education. Among other roles, he served as department head (1998-2003), as an officer in the International Society for History Didactics, as a member of the Jewish Studies Committee at Purdue, and on the Board of Governors of the Tippecanoe County Historical Association. 

 

Purpose:  The Department of History is pleased to announce its annual, "Gordon R. Mork Award," for the best undergraduate student paper in a History course addressing a theme or topic in Global History, including such issues as cross-cultural comparisons, international relations, and global exchange and interdependence.  

Criteria: The paper (15-25 pages in length) may come from any History course (European, U.S., or World History) offered during the academic year, as long as it addresses a global theme, integrates primary-source research, and offers an original interpretation. For more information about deadlines (usually the third week of February), please write to Professor Michael G. Smith at: mgsmith@purdue.edu

Award:  The winner will be announced at the departmental Spring Awards Reception and will receive a prize of $200 with a certificate of recognition.

Our Current Winner is:

2017 - Michael Brannigan, for the paper, "America's First Cosmonauts: The Human Cost of Shuttle-Mir," a study of the challenges that the seven Space Shuttle astronauts faced while serving aboard the Russian Mir space station between 1993 and 1998: mastering the everyday and technical intricacies of the Russian language; living in Russia during the post-Soviet economic collapse; and adapting to new institutional procedures and training methods under the Russian Space Program.

Past Winners:

2016 - Andrea Matio, for the paper, “Harem Girls and Handsome Sheiks: A Reconsideration of American Orientalism via the 1893 Columbian Exposition and Early Hollywood Films,” a wide-spanning study that links cultural history and immigration history, challenges Edward Said’s “orientalism,” and delves into the archival sources of Chicago and Los Angeles to show how Arab-Americans participated in the production of stereotypical images.

2015 - Kevin Adams, for the paper, “International Women’s Day 1979: Disorganization in a Polyvalent Iranian Women’s Movement,” a nuanced study of the women’s protest movement following the Iranian Revolution, which integrates a wide variety of American, British and French original sources to discuss both the organizational structure and the ideologies of the Iranian women's demonstrations, which were threaded with feminist, socialist, anarchist, and religious influences.


2014 - Ashley M. Sankari, for the paper, “Impartiality Reconsidered: Al Jazeera and Jessica Lynch,” which explored the abduction and rescue of U.S. Army private Jessica Lynch during the Iraq War (2003), weighing transcripts of the various media outlets to compare Al Jazeera’s relatively accurate and critical coverage against against the misrepresentations and exaggerations of American newspaper and television reporters.

2013 - Mae Christiansen, for the paper, "In the Boiling Caldron of War: Gender and Female Combatants in the First World War," a study of female battalions in the First World War across several fronts, including various international actors, and bridging the war experience with cosmopolitan standards of femininity and masculinity.

2012 - Lisa Olszewski, for the paper, "Swaying Switzerland: The Use of British Propaganda in Switzerland, 1943-1945,” which researched primary sources (British government documents) and offered a new interpretation about the application of wartime propaganda in the complex international relations between Switzerland, Great Britain, and Germany during the Second World War. 

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