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Paul Vincent Receives Fulbright Scholarship

April 29, 2014
Keene State's Krakow-bound Fulbright scholar, Paul Vincent
Keene State's Krakow-bound Fulbright scholar, Paul Vincent

Professor and Chair of Holocaust and Genocide Studies C. Paul Vincent has been selected for a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant that will enable him to spend the spring 2015 semester teaching at Jagiellonian University's Centre for European Studies in Krakow, Poland. Dr. Vincent will be teaching two of his specialty courses, The Second World War and Nazi Germany, and he's offered to participate in graduate seminars and give public lectures while he's in Poland.

This Fulbright should enhance the student-exchange relationship that Keene State established with Jagiellonian in 2011. "The opportunity to teach at our exchange institution will advance what is already evolving into an excellent relationship," Dr. Vincent explained. Although KSC has sent some of its students to study at Jagiellonian, so far no Jagiellonian students have come to Keene, and Dr. Vincent hopes to build a more mutual relationship. "Perhaps I can create inroads leading Polish students to study at Keene State College," he said. "I hope as well that my initiative will trigger reciprocal exchanges with Jagiellonian professors."

Dr. Vincent is also intrigued by the idea of teaching World War II history in the heart of World War II Europe. "I am able to bring an American perspective to the teaching and study of the Holocaust," he said. "Why do Americans find the Holocaust so important? Why did the United States establish a major Holocaust museum in its capital? Why have American scholars published so many Holocaust-related books over the past 50 years? What might the answers to such questions tell Europeans in general and Poles in particular about Americans?"

On the other hand, he realizes that, as much as he may understand Nazi Germany, the Second World War, and the Holocaust, he sees these subjects through the eyes of an American. "Whereas that should be advantageous on occasion, it could also prove an obstacle were I not sensitive to the heritage of my students," he said. "The courses I will teach represent subjects that remain delicate in Poland. It will be my obligation to approach these subjects, whether with students or faculty, with care and sensitivity." It's easy to imagine the interesting and enlightening discussions that will arise in Dr. Vincent's Jagiellonian classes.

Jagiellonian is certainly pleased that he'll be teaching there and welcomes the opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the two institutions. "Prof. Vincent has not only been a great ally of the undergraduate study-abroad program, which welcomes Keene State College students every year for a semester or year abroad, but he has also played a crucial role as a vital link between our two schools," said Prof. dr hab. Zdzislaw Mach, Head of Centre for European Studies at Jagiellonian. "We are honored that Prof. Vincent has so enthusiastically embraced CES and Krakow and now wishes to teach at our Centre. Through this, our alliance may only be deepened and strengthened."

"For our University, this is a most welcome opportunity," Dr. Mach continued. "Firstly, the benefit that our students would gain, the knowledge that would be shaped and expanded during a course taught by Prof. Vincent, will be of great advantage to them. Recently, CES opened a new speciality, 'Studies in the Holocaust and Totalitarian Systems,' and we anticipate that Prof. Vincent's expertise and experience will have a significant influence on its future development and attract new candidates for the program. Secondly, the Jagiellonian is keen on expanding its networks and partnerships as part of its internationalization efforts. I believe that this relationship that we have been cultivating with representatives of Keene State College has the potential to develop even further during Prof. Vincent's stay here."

Not only will Dr. Vincent benefit professionally from his Fulbright, but that benefit will extend to both Keene State and Jagiellonian, and to all the students who engage in the exchange relationship between the two schools—for years to come.