The Fulbright Program

UNH Professor Awarded Fulbright Chair in Denmark

By Erika Mantz
UNH News Bureau

January 7, 2002

DURHAM, N.H. -- W. Jeffrey Bolster, associate professor of history at the University of New Hampshire, has been appointed one of 40 Fulbright Distinguished Chairs.

Bolster will serve during the 2002-2003 academic year as the Odense Chair in American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. He will teach African-American and early American history, including a seminar on race in the development of American culture, at the graduate and advanced undergraduate levels, as well as assist with thesis advising.

"I'm delighted they picked me and that UNH is encouraging its faculty to participate in exchanges like this," says Bolster. "I've always been interested in traveling, and I believe this opportunity will allow me to learn more about my own country by living outside of it for a year. There is a positive educational value as well for UNH students, when their professors go abroad. It gives them more of a cosmopolitan perspective. Some people have asked me why American Studies is taught overseas. Simply put, the world has its eye on America. Our consumer products, popular music, politics, technology and military presence are felt around the world. There are a lot of places in the world interested in the United States, and Denmark is one of them."

Bolster, who has been at UNH for 10 years, teaches courses in early American social and cultural history, African-American history, Caribbean history, and maritime history. He is the author of "Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail" (Harvard University Press, 1997) and co-author of "Soldiers, Sailors, Slaves, and Ships: The Civil War Photographs of Henry P. Moore" (New Hampshire Historical Society, 1999).

"Professor Bolster is an excellent choice for this award," says Marilyn Hoskin, dean of the UNH's College of Liberal Arts. "His experience in Denmark should expand his already impressive repertoire of knowledge on maritime cultures in ways that will make student offerings at UNH even more fascinating. What he will bring to our curriculum after this year will be a global understanding that few can offer."

The Fulbright Program was established by Congress in 1946 to "increase mutual understanding between people of the U.S. and people of other countries." Named for its sponsor, the late Sen. J. William Fulbright, the program is the U.S. government's premier international educational exchange program.

Since the program's inception, more than 36,000 U.S. Fulbright Scholars have taught or conducted research in 140 countries around the world. The Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program awards are among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Bolster is the third UNH professor to be awarded a chair in the last 10 years. Lis McFarlane, associate professor of English, served as the Walt Whitman Chair at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands and Harvard Sitkoff, professor of history, served as the Mary Ball Washington Chair at University College in Dublin. In addition, more than 25 UNH faculty members have been Fulbright Scholars.

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