WILMINGTON — Wilmington College is enhancing its course offerings in history this coming academic year with the addition of a half-time faculty member whose expertise lies in Asian history.
An ASIANetwork-Luce Foundation Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow Program Award makes possible this unique opportunity for the College community. A newly minted Ph.D. in Asian history will not only teach but also share his or her recent doctoral research through programming with WC’s History Department and Peace Resource Center (PRC).
PRC Director Dr. Tanya Maus, the primary grant writer, said the history fellowship has the potential to be extended for two years for a scholar whose primary proficiency is Asian history and potential secondary specialization might include peace studies, Cold War or nuclear disarmament.
“We’re excited with the opportunity to have someone with such global expertise become part of our campus community,” she said. “We felt we presented a strong application for the award. We emphasized a need to bring in a scholar with expert knowledge in Asian history who could provide different avenues for engagements with students and faculty.”
The grant stipulates that candidates for the fellowship will have earned their Ph.D. within the past three years and will continue their doctoral research while holding the position. Maus, who said the College will accept applications into March, noted Wilmington College is one of only two institutions across the nation to receive this year’s ASIANetwork award and joins such schools as Kenyon College, Bowdoin College and Denison University as recent-year recipients.
“Not many small schools are able to give their students an opportunity to learn Asian history,” Maus said, adding that Ohio hosts a “significant presence” of Asian companies and students’ exposure to this curriculum would make them more marketable. “It’s beneficial for our students to have such fundamental historical and cultural knowledge. Having historical consciousness is important for solving important problems in society.”
Dr. Anne Daniels, assistant professor of history, concurred. She said the department has experienced significant growth in its number of majors and minors, so this opportunity for presenting an enhanced scope of history topics is an especially positive development for WC’s general education, history and global offerings. She and Dr. Keith Orejel, assistant professor of history, are the College’s two full-time faculty members in history.
“To have someone come in with expertise in an area outside of what Keith and I do is especially exciting,” she said. “Asian history is such a unique and desirable knowledge set in our country.”