INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
Two professors - Regan, Barzman - awarded Fulbright grants
By : Katie Ellis
Two Binghamton University faculty members have been awarded Fulbright Scholar grants to conduct research abroad during the 2004-05 academic year.
Patrick Regan, professor of political science, is already working at the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo, Norway, and Karen Barzman, associate professor of art history, will pursue her research at the University of Naples, Italy, next semester.
Barzman has been awarded a senior research fellowship that will allow her to work on her book, Early Orientalizing: Italian Figurations of Islam, which will look at Italian perceptions of the Islamic world through art.
“It’s really a tremendous honor because this fellowship doesn’t involve any teaching obligation. I’m working on a project that looks at trends and changes in the representation of the Islam in Italian art,” she said.
“How did Italians represent Islam from the middle ages through the Baroque period, about 1250 to 1750? I’m plotting the shifts in representation against the changing relations between Italy’s Christian states and the Islamic states around the Mediterranean, which were in constant contact with Italy.
“Italy was in contact with these Islamic states politically, through diplomacy and warfare, through commercial and trade networks - there was a tremendous amount of contact,” she said.
“Yet, in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, knowledge about Islamic faith and Islamic state rule gave way to increasingly reductive images, with beheading bearing a particular burden.
“My goal with this book is to contribute to a better understanding of the mechanics by which cultural perceptions and misconceptions are formulated.”
Barzman will complete a large portion of the research necessary to finish her book during her Fulbright stay, but will still need to Conduct additional research in Rome, Florence and Venice. She expects to publish her book in 2006.
Regan is in Norway to work with the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, and particularly with a Norwegian Center of Excellence called the Center for the Study of Civil Wars.
“I’m here to finish a book that accounts for how civil wars start and what other actors, such as governments and organizations, can do to stop - or at least control - them,” he said.
“Civil wars present one of the more destabilizing forces in global politics these days, and yet, the policies to deal with them appear to be pretty ad hoc.
“I’m writing about our systematic understanding of their causes and linking this to the policies that might form the backbone for their solutions.”
Regan said the Fulbright award has opened some doors for him, and has also garnered him some notice.
“I gave a talk recently in Oslo, and now each of the Norwegian military academies wants me to give a talk to their cadets,” he said.
The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In its 58 years of existence, more than 250,000 American and foreign university students, K-12 teachers and university faculty and professionals have participated in one of its programs.
The program’s purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.
Regan and Barzman are among approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad to some 140 countries as part of this year’s Fulbright Scholar Program. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.
Binghamton is also currently playing host to Fulbright Scholar Hye Sook Kim, an assistant professor in the department of education at Gyeongin National University of Education, Inchon, Korea.
Kim is lecturing and conducting research at Binghamton on the correlation of post-divorce adjustment and the resilience of children. He will remain at Binghamton until August 2005.