Sophie De Schaepdrijver, associate professor of history at Penn State, has received the honorific title of the Commander in the Order of the Crown by King Philippe of Belgium. A scholar who specializes in the history of World War I and Europe, De Schaepdrijver was recognized for her contributions to a greater understanding of World War I.
The Order of the Crown is awarded for meritorious service in public employment; distinguished artistic, literary or scientific achievements; or business and industrial services.
A native of Belgium, De Schaepdrijver is a social and cultural historian of Western Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries, with an interest in civilian experiences of war and nationalism. She has just finished a book on the Belgian war experience, with issues of resistance, profiteering and collaboration, as well as the long-term memory of military occupation. She has written and presented a four-part documentary on the First World War, which will air in August ("Brave Little Belgium," VRT-Canvas television) and curates a major historical exhibition on the city of Bruges during the war.
De Schaepdrijver was a resident fellow of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Penn State. She was awarded fellowships by the National Humanities Center and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies to enhance her research.