Andrew Orr on “The Gay Girl in Damascus Hoax”

Andrew Orr on “The Gay Girl in Damascus Hoax”

32 Minuten


vor 8 Monaten

Early on in the Arab Spring, a blog that had already existed for
several years went viral: A Gay Girl in Damascus by Amina Arraf,
a Syrian-American Muslim woman, who wrote about the uprisings in
Syria and her life as a lesbian in Damascus. In June 2011, the
world was shocked to learn that Amina had allegedly been abducted
by the secret police. But the real surprise was yet to come. Not
long after, journalists and activists realized that Amina Arraf
was a hoax, invented and impersonated by Thomas “Tom” MacMaster,
a forty-year-old straight white American man who studied medieval
history in Scotland.

What made McMaster so successful in deceiving the blog’s readers?
Specifically, why were educated and politically engaged
westerners so susceptible to believing a falsified account of the
Syrian revolution? And how did the western need for
self-validation as anti-racist, LGBTQ-friendly and
anti-imperialist come into play?

Andrew Orr, Professor of Military History and Security Studies at
Kansas State University, has delved into these questions in his
newly published book, “The Gay Girl in Damascus Hoax.” To shed
some light on what we can learn from this incredible story, and
how queer theory helps understand history, we invited him for
this book talk. The interview was conducted by Rabea Rittgerodt,
Senior Acquisitions Editor History at De Gruyter.

Dr. Andrew Orr is Professor of Military History and Security
Studies at Kansas State University. His work focuses on the 19th
and 20th centuries and explores the boundaries of civilian and
military identity.

Link to the book

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