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NSU professor receives Fulbright Scholar award to research in Bulgaria

(Tahlequah, Oklahoma) -- Northeastern State University Associate Professor of History Dr. Denis Vovchenko has been named a 2017-18 Fulbright Scholar. This prestigious award will allow Vovchenko to spend the spring semester of 2018 researching in Bulgaria.

During his stay, Vovchenko hopes to find relevant historical documents for his second book project, which focuses on the development of the far right movements in Christian Orthodox countries defeated in World War I.

“Bulgaria saw a significant influx of Russian refugees after a Communist victory in the Russian Civil War,” Vovchenko said.

His new book is tentatively titled “Unorthodox Fascism: Religion and Race in the Far Right in Russia, Greece, and Bulgaria (1905-1939).”

“I am generally fascinated by how religion affects politics and by the cultural links between Russia and the Balkans based on their shared religious tradition,” Vovchenko said.

Sponsored by the United States Government, the Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries through international educational exchange programs. The program, established in 1946, is based on U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright’s goal of developing international understanding through open communication and long-term cooperative relationships. Over 370,000 individuals have participated in the Fulbright program, including those who have gone on to be Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients.

Vovchenko is also preparing for a research trip to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union for three months this summer as a recipient of the 2017 American Councils Title VIII Advanced Research Fellowship from the U.S. State Department.

Dr. Phillip Bridgmon, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, praised Vovchenko’s honor.

“Dr. Vovchenko is very deserving of this recognition and prestigious award. His scholarship has been very well received by his peers and illuminates important questions related to the intersection of nationalism, religion, and politics,” Bridgmon said. “His work is very timely and important. His colleagues and I applaud his success and look forward to the very promising contributions he will make with this second book project.”

Vovchenko grew up as part of the Russian minority in Kazakhstan in the former Soviet Union. He studied for his bachelor of arts and master of arts in Byzantine and modern Greek studies at Moscow State Lomonosov University. He earned his doctorate in modern European history and the Middle East from the University of Minnesota.

Inspired by his religious and cultural heritage, together with a love of learning new languages, Vovchenko has written several articles about the religious and political aspects of Russia's relations with the Balkans and the Middle East.

His first book, “Containing Balkan Nationalism: Imperial Russia and Ottoman Christians (1856-1914),” is published by Oxford University Press. His teaching areas include early and modern western civilization, early and modern world civilizations, history of the Islamic world, renaissance and reformation, Russia in the modern era, modern Germany, Europe, 1815-1914, Europe in the 20th century, intellectual and social history of modern Europe and global history since World War II.

Published: 4/26/2017 10:51:35 AM

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