McDaniel professors win Fulbright grants

August 06, 2008

McDaniel professors Greg Alles, Philosophy and Religious Studies, and Debora Johnson-Ross, Political Science and International Studies, were recognized with Fulbright awards for the 2008-2009 academic year.

Alles received a Fulbright Scholar grant to study the oral literature of the Rathawas, a minority tribe in India. He will focus on the Rathawas’ epic tales to document their rich body of oral literature. His interest as a scholar is in Rathawa systems of thought, especially those designated as religious for they offer clues as to how people conceptualize religion and religious realities. Alles’ project grew out of his research as a Fulbright scholar in India in the late 1980s, which led to publication of his book, “The Iliad, the Ramayana, and the Work of Religion: Failed Persuasion and Religious Mystification” (Penn State Press, 1994).

Johnson-Ross, who two years ago spent a year in Cameroon on a Fulbright grant, has received a Fulbright Scholarship-in-Residence award to bring to campus Dr. Christopher Molem, an economist from Cameroon who specializes in globalization, development and political economy. Molem’s expertise in African economies and globalization will help bring additional depth to McDaniel courses, and Johnson-Ross will work with Molem to develop an interdisciplinary course on Africa and African-American studies. Molem and Johnson-Ross will team teach a course on development and economic rights in Africa, and Molem will present a series of faculty discussions centered on 21st-century challenges and Africa. During his year on campus, Molem will also present a public lecture.

The Fulbright program is the U.S. flagship program for international academic exchange with more than 140 nations. It offers a variety of awards for long-and short-term exchanges from senior scholars to students and for research and teaching.