TTU English professor Bill McRae gets Fulbright Award to lecture in Kyrgyzstan

Tennessee Tech University English professor Bill McRae is spending this academic year in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan thanks to a grant from the U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program.

The assignment, which began last month and runs through May, requires McRae to present a series of lectures about Anglo-American literature and popular scientific writing to students and faculty at American University in Central Asia, located in the town of Bishkek.

This is the second Fulbright Scholar Award McRae has received. His first took him to Oman in 1995-’96. He also had the opportunity to teach at the Peking Languages Institute in China in 1982-‘83. In recent years, several other TTU English faculty members have held Fulbright appointments, said Chairperson Kurt Eisen.

“These are great opportunities, not only to enhance the international standing of the university, but to bring some of the larger world back to TTU,” he said. “We’re always happy to highlight the work of the humanities faculty at TTU, which is more broadly known for its technology-related fields.”

Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous nation located in the northeastern area of Central Asia. It is bordered on the north by Kazakhstan, on the west by Uzbekistan, on the southwest by Tajikistan and in the southeast by China.

American University in Central Asia is the first and only institution in that region to function according to the American higher education model, with a credit-hour system, an American-style curriculum and a commitment to democratic values, freedom of expression and inquiry and academic integrity and honesty.

The U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program, which is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, has helped thousands of American scholars and professionals lecture and conduct research in more than 140 different countries.

Named for Sen. J. William Fulbright, the program was started shortly after World War II to help promote mutual understanding between people of the U.S. and those of other countries.