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 History professor chosen for Fullbright-Hays study program in Egypt 




May 22, 2007

Contact: K.E. Schwab  



History professor chosen for Fulbright-Hays study program in Egypt


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -  Eric Tuten, assistant professor of history at Slippery Rock University, is among 12 educators who will spend a month this summer as part of a Fulbright-Hays group study program in Egypt examining "Islam, the West and the Muslim World."

            Tuten, who teaches "Modern Middle Eastern History," was informed recently of his acceptance to the University of Pittsburgh's summer program. The June 24-July 23 study project is part of the Consortium for Educational Resources in Islamic Studies, of which SRU is a member. The U.S. Department of Education sponsors the Fulbright-Hays programs.

            The group will spend five days in Luxor, five days in Alexandria and 14 days in Cairo.

            "The primary purpose of the study trip is to expand Islamic studies and help integrate international studies into our general curriculum," Tuten said. "The program includes a post-travel curriculum development workshop and participation in two professional development sessions at regional workshops. I think the program will help me most by providing a hands-on experience in a country that is very important to the history of the ancient Near East, Islam and the modern Middle East. I will bring that experience to SRU sharing it with students and with the larger community by offering a public presentation. One of my long-term goals is to organize a regional conference dealing with Islam and the West."

            The group includes two social studies teachers, an economist and professors of social work, religious studies, criminal justice, political science and history. 

            Participants will learn about the basic beliefs, practices and historical development of Islam and will explore the pivotal role Egypt has assumed in encounters between East and West, from ancient Greek, Roman and Christian influences to the inception of Islam, through the Crusades and the colonial era into the post-colonial age. In addition, the group will experience the cultures and varied interpretations of Islam present in Egypt as a microcosm of the Muslim world and explore how these interpretations have influenced economic, political, educational and social developments in Egypt, the Muslim world and its continuing encounters with the West.

            During the experiential program, the group will engage in seminars with faculty at South Valley and Cairo universities. Discussions with leaders of religious, cultural, political and community organizations are planned along with guided tours of historic sites and opportunities to attend cultural performances. The program will also facilitate opportunities for research through pre-travel readings and access to libraries and institutes while in Egypt. 

            The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program involves faculty and secondary education teachers from diverse academic backgrounds as a way of bringing diversified opinions and ideas to the discussion table. The program is a world leader in international education exchanges. The program's overall goal is to increase mutual understanding between people of the U.S. and those of other countries through educational exchanges. Established under legislation introduced by the late Arkansas Sen. J. William Fulbright, the program was updated and expanded under the 1961 Fulbright/Hays Act.


           Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.                                                                                                             PR, PN, PGN, WPN


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