Illinois Wesleyan Professor Earns Fulbright Grants
September 28, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Illinois Wesleyan University professor Brian Hatcher is the
recipient of a Fulbright Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship through the U.S.
Department of Education, as well as a grant from the Fulbright Council for International
Exchange of Scholars Traditional Scholars Program.
Hatcher, a professor of religion and humanities, will be spending from November 2006
to June 2007 doing research in both Kalkota, India, and in the United Kingdom on his
sabbatical project, "Pandits in the Public Sphere: Sanskrit Scholars in Colonial Bengal."
Hatcher teaches courses on Asian religious literature and practice, the Hindu religious
tradition, Buddhism in India and Tibet, Hindu-Christian encounter, and the interpretation
of religious experience. His ongoing research interests include transformations in
the lives and activities of Sanskrit pandits in colonial Bengal and the hermeneutics
of religious reform in modern India.
He is the author of "Idioms of Improvement: Vidyasagar and Cultural Encounter in Bengal"
(1996) and "Eclecticism and Modern Hindu Discourse" (1999). He currently has a new
book, "Bourgeois Hinduism, or the Faith of the Modern Vedantists: Rare Discourses
from Early Colonial Bengal," in production with Oxford University Press.
His other publications include studies of Sanskrit pandits in colonial Bengal, issues
in the historiography of modern Bengal, and selected topics in the development of
modern Hinduism. In addition, he has published a variety of translations from Sanskrit
and Bengali, including several short stories by Saradindu Bandyopadhyay.
Hatcher, who joined the IWU faculty in 1992, has a bachelor's degree from Carleton
College, a master's degree in divinity from Yale University and master's and doctorate
degrees from Harvard University.
The Fulbright Scholar Program
The Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program is designed to contribute
to the development and improvement of modern foreign language and area studies in
the U.S. by providing opportunities for scholars to conduct research abroad. The program
funds fellowships to faculty members who propose to conduct research abroad in modern
foreign languages and area studies to improve their skill in languages and their knowledge
of the culture of the people of these countries. Funds support travel expenses to
and from the residence of the fellow and the country or countries of research, a maintenance
stipend for the fellow related to his or her academic year salary, and an allowance
for research-related expenses overseas.
The Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), under a cooperative agreement
with the U.S. Department of State, administers the Fulbright Scholar Program for faculty
and professionals. Each year, the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program sends some
800 U.S. faculty and professionals to 140 countries to lecture, do research or participate
in seminars, and some 800 foreign faculty members come to the U.S.
In addition to Hatcher, Valerie Orlando, who has since moved to the University of
Maryland, also received a Fulbright Scholarship as an IWU associate professor of French
CONTACT: Stew Salowitz, 309-556-3181