CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University faculty member Maureen Healy has been named 2007-08 fellow of the National Humanities Center. Healy is the first OSU professor to receive this recognition in the Center’s 30-year history.
Healy is an associate professor in the department of history at OSU. She is one of 37 fellows selected out of more than 400 applicants.
“The fellowship offers a rare chance to meet and work for a year with humanities faculty from all over the country,” Healy said. “I believe the Center is designed as kind of a hothouse for scholarly production. While each person is working quite intensely on his or her own research, the Center facilitates all sorts of interdisciplinary workshops and exchanges. This is pretty close to academic paradise.”
The fellowship is one of the most prestigious honors in the area of the humanities. The National Humanities Center, which is located in the Research Triangle Park of N.C., is a private independent institution for advanced study in the humanities. It was started in 1978 with support of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and continues to operate in part from funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“We have had only two people from Oregon in 30 years receive a fellowship to our Center,” said Kent Mullikin, deputy director of the Center. “It is a great pleasure to have Maureen Healy on our list for 2007-08.”
Healy’s research focuses on the social and cultural history of central Europe. Her first book, “Vienna and the Fall of Habsburg Empire: Total War and Everyday Life in World War I,” (Cambridge University Press, 2004) was awarded the 2005 Herbert Baxter Adams Prize from the American Historical Association.
During Healy’s stay at the National Humanities Center, she will be working on her second book, titled ““At the Gates of Western Civilization: Islam and the Turks in Central European Historical Memory.”
The book will examine the long cultural afterlife of the 1683 siege of Vienna in which Habsburg and allied troops defeated Ottoman forces. The siege is used as a starting point for understanding Austrian and German relations with Ottomans and Turks in the 19th and 20th centuries. The book examines the ways that central Europeans have re-written the siege story in modern times to support Habsburg patriotism, Austrian republicanism, Polish nationalism of the 19th century, German nationalism of the 20th century, Turkish membership in the European Union, and post-1960 scares about Muslim immigration to central Europe.