November 20, 2004
Phone: (504) 865-5714
To the average American who lives and works outside the academic environment, there are few words that suggest the life of research and scholarship more than "Fulbright."
For nearly 60 years, the Fulbright Scholar Program has sent academics and professionals who have taught or conducted research in U.S. universities overseas to carry out their work in new environments and promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and of other countries.
This academic year, three members of the Tulane community will join approximately 800 other Fulbright recipients nationwide in traveling abroad. Joy Fuqua, associate professor of communication, and two adjunct professors of law, Herbert Larson and Steven Plotkin, will spend several months engaged in what Larson calls a "marvelous
"The chance to be in another country during a time when it is making major changes in its legal system will be fascinating," says Larson, who will be in Torun, Poland, from February until June.
Poland, which joined the European Economic Union this year, has an interest in EEU law, particularly those laws concerned with "quasicriminal" activities such as securities fraud and money laundering, said Larson, who is a practicing criminal defense attorney in New Orleans.
Larson, who has taught federal and criminal international law at Tulane since 1992 and is co-director of the school's summer program in Amsterdam, will teach at Nicholas Copernicus University.
A 1974 graduate of Tulane, Larson first traveled to Europe through the Junior Year Abroad program. After graduating from law school, he attended Cambridge University in London. His master's thesis was on comparative law.
"Whenever I've gone abroad to teach or study, I've always gotten so much out of the experience," he said. "It's a marvelous educational experience." Beyond that, Larson said the chance to teach abroad will likely make him a better teacher at home. "You gain experiences and perspectives that you can offer your students," he said.
Come January, Fuqua will work in an equally distant location, lecturing, teaching and conducting research in the Department of English and Communication at City University of Hong Kong. "The Fulbright I received is based on a project that will explore, among other things, a comparative analysis between U.S. and Chinese media representations of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)," said Fuqua, who will remain abroad until May.
Her focus on SARS is related to a larger research interest in the global aspects of "outbreaks" and their management via national medical and media alliances. While there, Fuqua will teamteach a course, "Gender Discourse," and give several lectures based on research in health and mass media that went into writing her forthcoming book, Healthy TV: Television and Medical Media.
Fuqua expects that the opportunity will give her the unique experience of examining how different national media organizations respond to medical crises.
"As one of the centers of the flow of global capital, Hong Kong has for centuries been a kind of gathering point for different cultures, ideas and identities," she said. "I believe that the Fulbright will enable me to draw upon this experience and knowledge when I return to Tulane."
Plotkin, who could not be reached for comment, will travel to Thessaloniki, Greece, to lecture and conduct research on judicial law, court and police at Aristotle University Thessaloniki. Plotkin, who is a retired judge from the Fourth Circuit of the Louisiana Court of Appeals, previously participated in the Fulbright program when he spent the fall 1999 semester at Sofia University in Sofia, Bulgaria, lecturing on "American Law and Legal Institutions: A Judicial Perspective."
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