Campus: San Diego -- May 2, 2006

SDSU History Professor Receives $30,000 Fellowship from National Humanities Center

San Diego State University history professor David Christian received the $30,000 Donnelley Family Fellowship from the National Humanities Center in order to study inner Eurasian history.

"David's study in inner Eurasian history is well-regarded in his field," said Paul Wong, dean of SDSU's College of Arts and Letters. "His achievement points to the caliber of faculty that we have in the College of Arts and Letters and we congratulate him on his achievement."

During a planned six-month leave of absence from SDSU beginning in January 2007, Christian will research the history of inner Eurasia, which comprises Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia. He has already completed a first volume on the history of this region and will use the fellowship to begin work on a second volume. When completed, the second volume will survey the entire era from the rule of the Mongol Empire to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

"This fellowship will allow me to fully immerse myself in inner Eurasian history," Christian said. "With the time to dedicate to this research, I hope to demonstrate its connections with other cultures throughout Asia and Europe, and to illustrate how Russia came to dominate the region."

Christian, a historian of Russia and the Soviet Union, has written on the social and material history of the 19th century Russian peasantry and a text book history of modern Russia, as well as his first volume on the history of inner Eurasia. In 1989, he began teaching courses on "big history," surveying the past on the largest possible scales, including those of biology and astronomy. In 2004, he published the first text on big history, "Maps of Time," which won the 2005 World History Association award for the best book in world history published that year.

The Donnelley Family Fellowship, endowed by Strachan Donnelley, trustee emeritus of the National Humanities Center, is awarded annually to a scholar working at the intersection of nature, the environment and the humanities. The National Humanities Center awards more than $1.4 million in fellowship grants that enable scholars to take leave from their normal academic duties and pursue research at the Center.

Located in the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina, the Center is a privately incorporated independent institute for advanced study in the humanities. Since 1978, it has awarded fellowships to leading scholars in the humanities, whose work at the Center has resulted in the publication of more than 900 books in all fields of humanistic study. The Center also sponsors programs to strengthen the teaching of the humanities in secondary and higher education.

Contact: Lorena Nava, (619) 594-3952 office; (619) 309-5179 cell, lnava@mail.sdsu.edu


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