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Trevor Cogan

Honors Profile: Trevor Cogan

American studies and history double major examines life in North Africa during WWII.

Above: Trevor Cogan

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Trevor Cogan's final summer in the Honors Program yielded a rich learning experience about a major theater of the Second World War – albeit a lesser-known aspect of it: civilian life in North Africa. Cogan was a Summer Scholar – a full-time, paid research assistant – and he worked one-on-one with history professor Dr. David Stenner on this topic of mutual interest.

"While the Second World War is one of the most studied wars in history, scholars often only focus on the political and military aspects of the war," Cogan says. "My research revolved around the lives of North Africans living through the Second World War to fully understand how the war affected them."

Cogan and Stenner delved deeply into an array of historical and archival sources, including materials from the Veterans History Project, a database of audio and written transcripts of interviews with American GIs; old New York Times articles; and materials from the National Archives. They studied accounts of people living in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.

"My Summer Scholars research helped me further both my academic interests and my future goals," Cogan says. "Conducting political and historical research and synthesizing it into readable information is what I would like to do, and this experience gave me an idea of what a career in this field would be like."


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