Luther College professor emeritus of political science Paul Gardner has received a Fulbright Scholar award to teach next year in Romania.
Gardner tells decorahnews.com he will be teaching two classes in the American Studies Department of West University in Timisoara, Romania next spring and will also travel around Romania to give talks on American democracy and the U.S. presidential election of 2020.
Gardner applied to the Core Fulbright Scholars Program to teach a course that compares American and Romanian democracies as well as a course that analyzes the U.S.'s role in world politics. Gardner is interested in teaching in Romania because he has not been to that region of the world.
"I've always been interested in the Balkans," says Gardner. He says Romania is an especially interesting country to visit because of its history as a Communist country. Former leader Nicolae Ceausescu ruled the country with an iron hand from 1965 until he was overthrown and killed in a revolution in 1989. He was overthrown after he ordered troops to fire on antigovernment demonstrators in the city of Timisoara—the city that houses West University.
In addition to discussing the Romanian democracy, Gardner will be discussing the American democracy right after the Iowa Caucuses and in the middle of the 2020 Presidential race. He has contacted the "American Corners" program in Romania, which brings speakers to libraries throughout the country, and will be speaking about American democracy in several cities. Gardner says Romanians are "very interested in America."
In addition to presenting programs when he is in Romania, Gardner promises to speak in Iowa after he returns from Romania about his experiences in the country.