SHREVEPORT – On the heels of winning his second military history book award, LSU Shreveport professor Dr. Alexander Mikaberidze already has his next project lined up.
Mikaberidze has been selected as the Fulbright Scholar to undertake a transnational and comparative research project in Europe.
The Fulbright award will allow Mikaberidze to conduct research on European and Caucasian history for the next two years.
Founded by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946, the Fulbright program is considered one of the most widely recognized international education exchange programs in the world.
“Much of what has been written on the history of the Caucasus tends to be inward-looking, national history,” Mikaberidze said. “I want to produce a study examining Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia at the onset of modern era, and exploring their shared historical past.
“I will take a comparative approach to see how the experiences of these nations compare to historical developments in Europe and elsewhere.”
The three Caucasian nations, sandwiched between Russia, Turkey and Iran as well as hemmed in by the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, are one of the gateways between Europe, Western Asia, and the Middle East.
Mikaberidze’s research will focus on the spread of the Enlightenment and Enlightened Despotism, a form of government in which monarchs co-opted Enlightenment ideas to strengthen their authority but also to improve the daily lives of their people.
The Fulbright Award will allow Mikaberidze to travel to all three Caucasus countries and parts of Europe, conducting research at national archives and consulting with local historians.
But students won’t have to miss Mikaberidze in class – he will continue to teach history courses and plans to undertake research trips overseas during winter and summer breaks.
Some might be familiar with students earning a Fulbright Scholarship to participate in a cultural and academic exchange abroad or where international students visit the U.S.
But opportunities also exist for professionals, artists, and scholars to teach, conduct research and carry out professional projects around the world.
The flagship program, sponsored by the U.S. government, awards approximately 8,000 grants annually, with two-thirds of them going to students and some 800 to U.S. scholars.
The criteria for selection vary according to the type of grant one is applying for, but all proposals undergo a rigorous examination process.
After being reviewed for eligibility and completeness, applications are examined by the National Screening Committee, comprising of full-time faculty members of U.S. institutions who have discipline or region-specific experience.
At the next stage, recommended applications are forwarded to the Fulbright Commission, U.S. diplomatic missions, and the host countries for final selection. All selected candidates are then approved by the presidentially-appointed 12-member Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.