Dr. Lisa Zwicker, professor of history at IU South Bend, was recently awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for research in Poland. The Fulbright is a highly prestigious award, said College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Dean Brenda Phillips. Her scholarship is the driving influence that earned her the Fulbright.
Dean Phillips also noted that an exceptional number of IU South Bend faculty have been awarded Fulbright Fellowships. It’s unusual that a small campus like ours has three faculty who have received Fulbright Fellowships, said Dean Phillips. You might only find a couple of faculty who get it on a very large campus like IU Bloomington. It speaks to the quality of our faculty.
As a Fulbright Fellow, Zwicker will spend several months in spring 2021 in Wroclaw, Poland, formerly known as Breslau, seeking information that will reveal how it is that Breslau/Wrocław produced so many women leaders, and within the group, so many Jewish women leaders in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Her interest in eastern Europe and the women leaders of Breslau/ Wrocław began two decades ago when she spent time in the city doing research for her dissertation. In the end, however, she decided to focus her dissertation on all of Germany and not limit it to specific cities.
“Now, after twenty years away, I’ll return to Breslau/ Wrocław and take up this project,” Zwicker said.
Zwicker’s teaching has connected directly to her interest in the unique characteristics of distinct cities and the special spirit of a particular place and time. Her study abroad course, “Dictatorship and Dissent, Berlin and Prague 1914-1989,” helped shape one of the key questions of her project, she explained: “What was it about Breslau, in particular, that incubated the ambitions and talents of so many women of the 19th and 20th centuries.” Zwicker noted that another course she currently teaches, “Biography and Gender,” in European history also drew her to pursue this project, which will highlight experiences of individuals.
Dean Phillips noted that Zwicker’s study and scholarship as a Fulbright Fellow will also serve to enhance her students’ experiences in her classroom and advance her research at the IU South Bend. “I can’t wait to see what Lisa learns and brings back to the classroom and publishes,” said Dean Phillips.
In addition to her research, Zwicker is looking forward to integrating into the Wrocław community and university. “The city itself is beautiful,” she said. As a member of the IU South Bend Choir, Zwicker is also interested in learning what opportunities she may have to sing in a local Wrocław choir. Assistant Professor Kamil Kijek of the Jewish Studies Department at Uniwersytet Wrocławski has offered to host Zwicker for this project and invited her to present two lectures at the university.
Zwicker is grateful for the Indiana University’s New Frontiers grant, which made it possible for her to spend time in Europe to prepare for her Fulbright Fellowship application. She also appreciates the guidance of Associate Professor Joseph Chaney in the English Department, a 2009 Fulbright Fellowship recipient and the campus’s Fulbright liaison, and Associate Professor of History Monica Tetzlaff, who also received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2014.
“I am very honored,” said Zwicker, who has started brushing up on her Polish language skills in anticipation of working on her Fulbright project next spring. “I’m very excited to get in the archives and find fun surprises and to meet and work with my Polish colleagues.”