The Fulbright lectureship has been keeping me happily busy. I have been teaching two classes at the University of Liège: one on contemporary American poetry and the other on contemporary American literature and the “god debates.” I arranged for the students to talk with one of the assigned authors in a SKYPE conversation; other assigned authors agreed to answer questions by email. The students are studying for their Masters’ degrees. They are bright and very capable.
In October I went to Trinity College, Dublin to give a lecture on my current research project: Rhyme’s Challenge, a study of rhyme in contemporary American music, poetry, and culture. The event was expertly organized by Ian Kinane and Gillian Groszewski, who also made a nifty poster advertising the event, and Professor Stephen Matterson. Last week I also lectured at the University of Ghent, organized by Sarah Posman, a postdoctoral researcher and an expert on Gertrude Stein. She also graciously gave me a tour of the town. At both events, the students and faculty posed very stimulating questions. It was a pleasure to meet scholars working on interesting projects and to see how the different universities function.
Finally, I am scheduled to give a talk this Friday night at an annual gathering of Jewish young professionals in Brussels. Two weeks later, I will lecture on my research at the Bonn University. All these events greatly enhance my Fulbright experience. Speaking both within and outside academia, I hear a great range of perspectives on the major issues of the day—including scholarship, and European and American politics—and leave each encounter with a great deal to consider.
Dr. David Caplan