Barbara Vann, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of sociology, has been awarded a core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program grant to teach and study at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, for the spring 2014 semester.
Nearly 800 faculty from across the United States receive the prestigious core Fulbright award each year, which sends experienced professionals in a wide variety of academic and professional fields to more than 125 countries worldwide.
"This award means everything to me as a scholar," said Vann, who has taught at Loyola since 1987. "My research is specific to the Czech Republic; it requires me to have personal contacts and build up trust with people I interview, and now I have the opportunity to focus on that vital component of my scholarship for an extended period of time."
At the Charles University Institute of Sociological Studies, Vann will continue her ongoing research of collective memory–information that becomes the memory of a group of people–as it relates to the period before, during, and after the Velvet Revolution, a non-violent protest that toppled the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989. She has studied the topic for the better part of a decade, gathering vital information in short stints during the one month study abroad program in Prague she leads each summer. Vann plans to publish a book about her findings once her research is complete.
In addition to scholarship, Vann will teach two classes in English to sociology students at Charles University. The undergraduate class will focus on social inequality in the United States; the graduate seminar will focus on race, class, gender, and sexuality in the United States.
Vann's award includes a stipend, along with allowances for travel, accommodations, and books.