Paul Strauss, a doctoral candidate in history at UNL, has been awarded a Fulbright Research Grant to conduct dissertation research in Germany during the 2014-2015 academic year.
Strauss, who earned a master’s degree in education from Truman State University, plans to study 16th-century Christian sermons and texts, identifying the ways in which Muslims and Jews are portrayed. Strauss believes that examining earlier Christian texts is important in understanding the identity formations of Christian denominations.
His research will be conducted at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbuettel, Germany, where Strauss hopes to engage with the community through use of research discussion groups and through musical and educational activities offered by Wolfenbuettel’s Catholic churches.
Strauss said he was excited to go to Germany for his dissertation research. This was his second time applying for the Fulbright and Strauss said it was “very satisfying to know that other people find my research valuable and are willing to support it.”
Strauss said religious studies in Germany are especially important and crucial to understanding the complexities of early European history.
At the same time that Strauss learned of his Fulbright award, he also found out that he received a fellowship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD), a private national agency that offers competitive, merit-based grants for study and/or research at accredited German institutions. Strauss has also received the Rolf and Ursula Schneider Stiftung Stipendium, a summer research grant through the Herzog August Bibliothek, to support his project.
Amy Burnett, professor of history and Strauss’ dissertation advisor, said it has been a pleasure to see Strauss develop as a teacher.
“The fact that he has been offered two prestigious year-long fellowships shows just how strong his record is,” Burnett said. “This is a marvelous opportunity for him to work in one of Europe’s most important research libraries, and I’m looking forward to what he’ll discover during his research in Germany.”
Upon his return to the United States, Strauss plans to write his dissertation and attend academic conferences, where he will present his research findings. He anticipates completing his dissertation in 2016.
The Fulbright Program, established in 1946 and funded by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to foster understanding between the United States and other countries. The U.S. Student Fulbright program gives recent graduates, graduate students and young professionals the opportunity to conduct research, study, or teach in one of the 155 designated countries. About 8,000 grants are awarded annually, and about 1,600 of those grants are awarded to U.S. students.
Strauss’ Fulbright is the third announced Fulbright to UNL students this spring. Others include: