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Dr. Charles Peek, Martin Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, has been named a Fulbright Scholar to China for February-July, 2005.
Dr. Peek, whose specialty is American Literature, is one of only 21 scholars from universities across the nation selected for Fulbright awards to teach in China, and the only one who will be teaching literature.
Among his assignments will be teaching two graduate classes in Modern American Literature, thesis assistance and workshops for training teachers. In addition, he will participate in a lecture tour to other universities where there are Fulbright scholars. According to Dr. Peek, the other Fulbright scholars are in the fields of law, political science, marketing, journalism, economics, American studies and English.
“My classes, which will be taught in English, will focus mostly on Faulkner, Cather, Hemingway, the Harlem Renaissance and American drama,” Dr. Peek said. “The expectation is that students will not only learn in the content area of the class, but will also have an opportunity to improve their English language skills.”
Dr. Peek will teach at Northeast Normal University in Changchun, Jilin. He will be the located the farthermost north of any of the Fulbright scholars.
“It gets to 20 degrees below zero, much like Minneapolis,” he said.
Before he begins at Northeast Normal University, he and his wife Nancy, who will accompany him on the Fulbright assignment, will attend an orientation in Beijing.
“We will be staying in a small complex that NNU devotes to ‘visiting experts,’ where each visitor has private accommodations,” he said. “It is said to be modern by Chinese standards. We intend, however, to be flexible in both our arrangements and expectations.”
In addition to teaching at NNU, Dr. Peek has already been invited to lecture at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, where Stetson University professor of law Stephen Everhard will be posted, and at East China Normal University, where Paul Levine, director of American Studies at Copenhagen University, Denmark, is posted.
“China regards the U.S. as its most important bilateral relationship,” he said. “They want to build relationships.”
Fulbright awards are competitive, based on merit. After a proposal is reviewed by scholars in one’s field, an award is made based on selection by the Center for the International Exchange of Scholars, the Fulbright officers.