The largest U.S. exchange program, Fulbright provides opportunities for recent graduates, graduate students and professionals to travel abroad for research, graduate studies, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching. Now, in 2016, we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Fulbright Program, which has given more than 360,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to participate in this program. As part of the recognition of this anniversary, the Graduate School would like to spotlight UT graduate students who are participating in this program during the year.
Lydia Walker will be in Belgium next year researching the life of Jacques de Vitry, one of the most influential preachers, bishops, and statesmen of the thirteenth century. Jacques was a key player in promoting the wide-reaching program to remake the Western Christian world set forth at the Fourth Lateran Council, and his writings, especially his sermons, reveal the magnitude and legacy of these thirteenth-century reforms in both ideology and practice. Her dissertation not only offers a deeper understanding of this influential figure, but also reveals new connections between the numerous components of the Fourth Lateran program, including gender, crusade, and lay piety.
Kathleen “Kassie” Ernst is a doctoral student in energy geography at the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education. She will be going to Norrkoping, Sweden, to study climate-related issues. Ernst, who is from Whitehall, Wisconsin, will be working with the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute and the Stockholm Environment Institute to find ways of making climate information gleaned from models more usable for urban policy makers.
Joshua’s dissertation looks at the Nazis’ brutal attempts to incorporate the Netherlands as a “kindred”, “Germanic” territory into the “Greater Germanic Reich” by reformulating Dutch national identity into a more “Germanic”, “racialized” mold. Although the Nazis used various methods to affect this end, Joshua’s project centers on so-called educational reforms instituted by the occupiers to achieve this goal. Further, his project situates the occupation into the center of several important historiographic debates, questioning the very nature of the occupation of the Netherlands, that occupation’s place within the larger framework of Nazi Empire, and the relation of Nazi imperialism with late-19th century European high imperialism. Through its multi-layered investigation, his project stands to significantly disrupt – perhaps even overturn – the current historical paradigm surrounding the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
Jeremy Pearson’s Fulbright project examines the religious and cultural milieu of the Latin East during the two centuries after the First Crusade when a Latin Christian elite controlled significant parts of the eastern Mediterranean. His dissertation centers on the life and work of William of Tripoli, a Dominican Friar born in modern Lebanon who spent his career proselytizing Muslims from a priory in Akko, Israel. William wrote two treatises on Islam that have been called peculiar, but have not otherwise been seriously considered. Jeremy argues that the peculiar elements in William’s work were borrowed from Arabic Muslim and Christian sources, and reveal important conduits of exchange between Latin and Arabic culture.
Kaitlyn Stiles is studying biological anthropology and Mediterranean archaeology. In addition to the Fulbright, which will fund her research in Greece, Stiles has received an AIA’s Harriet and Leon Pomerance Fellowship to fund a subsequent year of dissertation research in Greece. Her research incorporates skeletal and material cultural analyses with social theory in the study of the Mycenaean chamber tomb cemetery at Golemi Agios Georgios in East Lokris, in central Greece. She will be exploring the extent to which presumed aspects of Mycenaean elite culture—high status, wealth, and prowess in war—also characterized the population in this outlying area.