Fulbright Specialist Dr. Jon Davidann on his Project at the University of Ghent

Dr. Jon Davidann, Hawaii Pacific University, was contacted by Ghent University to come over to Belgium as part of the Fulbright Specialist program for a 2-week project on the “Paradigms of Change in Modernising America and Asia.” In this report, he provides an overview of his activities and the most important outcomes.

What specific project activities did you complete during your grant?
I did two public lectures of two hours each and also taught two sessions of two hours each in the Ghent University Doctoral School. Specifically, I did the Satsuma Chair Lecture at a partner of Ghent University, Catholic University of Leuven. I taught a session in the Ghent University Doctoral School on world and global History and another one on an encounters methodology for the study of history. And I gave the keynote address at the symposium organized by Ghent University, Paradigms of Change in Modernising Asia and America.

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What do you believe were the most important outcomes of your project (i.e. what results did you achieve)?
The synergies created by the Fulbright funding and my own scholarship created opportunities for university professors and graduate students to engage in dialogues that pushed knowledge forward. The Fulbright program and my research was the motivating factor behind the symposium. And the symposium was a great success. The papers of the participants were all high quality, there was a high level of interaction between the participants, and plans were discussed for several participants to engage in future collaboration including writing a co-authored research project, journal article, and possibly a co-authored book. In addition, my presentations at the Doctoral School allowed graduate students to expand their knowledge of two major fields of historical study, world and global history and consider alternate approaches to historical study. Finally, I engaged in mentorship with several graduate students in Belgium and I hope to continue mentoring these students from afar.

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Do you intend to continue to collaborate with your host institution in the future? If so, in what capacity?
There are two possibilities for further collaboration with Ghent University. First, a fellow scholar at Ghent University and I will likely go forward with a joint research proposal and apply for funding for it. Second, I intend to keep in contact with Ghent University and KU Leuven University graduate students for mentorship opportunities.

Learn more on about the specialist program and how to request a Fulbright specialist for your institution here. If you are a U.S. academic or professional and want to become a Fulbright specialist, check out this website.