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College of Humanities and Social Sciences presents lecture series on Turkey, nationalism, beginning Oct. 25

October 11, 2010 -- Arkansas State University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences will present the 2010-11 lecture series, “Empire, the Nation-State, and European Unification:  Turkey and Nationalism in World History,” beginning Monday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in ASU’s Reng Student Services Center/Student UnionDr. Edward J. Erickson will present the inaugural lecture, "From Empire to Republic: Modernity, the army, and the Turkish constitution," in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences' 2010-11 lecture series "Empire, the Nation-State, and European Unification: Turkey and Nationalism in World History," Monday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in ASU's Student Union. Auditorium, 101 N. Caraway Road, Jonesboro. Dr. Edward J. Erickson, associate professor of military history at the Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University, will present the inaugural lecture, “From Empire to Republic: Modernity, the army, and the Turkish constitution.”

The next speaker in the three-part series will be folklorist Dr. Henry Glassie of Indiana University, tentatively scheduled for January 25, 2011. The final speaker will be historian Dr. David Cuthell of Georgetown and Columbia, who will give a lecture on Turkey's effort to join the EU. Dr. Cuthell will speak in April 2011. The lecture series is funded by a grant from the Institute of Turkish Studies. Additional support for the series is provided by ASU's Lecture -Concert Series and the Middle East Studies Committee. All lectures are free and open to the public. This lecture is also the sixth event in ASU's 2010-2011 Lecture-Concert Series, with all events being free and open to the public.  

Dr. Erickson’s lecture, “From Empire to Republic: Modernity, the army and the Turkish constitution,” addresses the key role of the officers of the Ottoman army in the transition of the Ottoman state from a sprawling multi-ethnic empire to a compact modernist nation state. The impact of these officers is still felt in Turkey today as its people continue to struggle with defining the role of the military within a democracy. This lecture centers on establishing a historical framework and understanding the current state of debate in Turkey regarding the constitutional status of "the soldier and the state."

Dr. Erickson served as an enlisted infantryman with the 1/509th Airborne and was commissioned in the field artillery in 1975. During his commissioned service, he served in artillery and general staff assignments in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. In the Persian Gulf War of 1991, he served in the Third Armored Division as an artillery battalion operations officer; in Sarajevo in 1995 as a special assistant to ComIFOR; and in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 with the Fourth Infantry Division as General Odierno's political advisor. After retiring as a lieutenant colonel, Dr. Erickson worked as a school administrator and high school teacher in his hometown of Norwich, New York. He returned to Baghdad, Iraq, in 2007 for a year to work as professor of political science at the Ministry of Defense Training and Development College.

Dr. Erickson is widely recognized as one of the foremost experts on the Ottoman Army during the First World War. Among the numerous books and articles he has written are “Ordered To Die, A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War,” “Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912-1913,” “Ottoman Army Effectiveness in WW1: A Comparative Study,” “Gallipoli and the Middle East, 1914-1918,” and “Gallipoli, The Ottoman Campaign.” He is the co-author of “A Military History of the Ottomans, from Osman to Ataturk.” He has master's degrees from Colgate University and Saint Lawrence University and a doctorate in History from the University of Leeds in the UK. Dr. Erickson’s areas of expertise include His areas of expertise include: Gallipoli and the Middle East in WW1, Ottoman military history, Turkey as a contemporary military power, history of military transformation, combat and military effectiveness, and British military and naval history.

For more information about the lecture series, contact Dr. Erik Gilbert (, professor of history, at (870) 972-2137.

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