For scholars, there's no substitute for original source material. Thanks to a grant from the Fulbright Scholar Program, Professor John Enyeart will soon have access to the archives of the National and University Library of Slovenia, where he'll pursue research while teaching during the 2018-19 academic year.
Beginning in October, the history professor will lecture at the University of Ljubljana, where his teaching will focus on immigration and migration in the United States as well as Slovenian influences abroad. While there, he will also finalize the manuscript for his upcoming book Death to Fascism: Louis Adamic's Fight for Democracy in the Age of Anticommunism. The biography explores the lasting influence of Adamic, an anti-fascist Slovenian immigrant and popular author whose vision of ethnic and racial equality, workers' rights and anti-imperialism changed the way Americans understood democracy, according to Enyeart.
"Most people haven't heard of him, but if you lived in the '30s through the '50s, you'd know his name," said Enyeart, whose family has Slovenian roots.
His other scholarly project there will be researching a chapter on World War II ethnic group activism for his next book, Fighting Fascism.
Enyeart noted that his research will inform his teaching in Slovenia, and that lecturing to students whose first language is not English will in turn influence his teaching at Bucknell.
"Seeing the differences and similarities between teaching in these two very different environments will help me step back and re-evaluate the communication of ideas and experiences," he said. "It will be a valuable opportunity to think more broadly about what good teaching is."
While Enyeart noted that there are certain parallels between the mood of Adamic's era and the current political scene, he stressed that it's important to remember that history is lived forward.
"There's this idea of the usable past, or looking backward to assess a current situation," he explained. "But to get there, and to be a good historian, you have to remember that none of us know what the future holds, and apply that same standard to the people you're researching. It's important to be fair to them, and to try to understand their mindset and culture."