Neil H. Donahue, PhD, assistant provost for undergraduate research and fellowships and senior associate dean of Hofstra University Honors College, has been selected for a prestigious Fulbright seminar program in Japan this summer. The award marks his second Fulbright honor.
The Fulbright International Education Administrator Seminar award allows Dean Donahue to spend two weeks, from June 12 to 25, in cities such as Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyoto, where he will meet with local university officials to discuss and develop a mutual understanding of higher education practices. He is one of ten selected participants from the United States for the program in Japan this year.
“I hope to get to know the system of higher education there and forge some direct personal connections and alliances that will lead to exchanges and study partnerships between our universities including a Hofstra-in-Japan program,” said Dean Donahue. “We have successful academic partnerships in other parts of East Asia, but not yet in Japan.”
Though this would be his first trip to Japan, Dean Donahue’s deep interest in its culture and arts dates back to the mid-1990s when he taught the first course at Hofstra on Japanese literature. The interest generated by the class led to a new faculty position in Japanese in the Department of Comparative Literature and Languages, where he was chairperson from 1999 to2005. Last year, in the Honors College first-year course, Culture & Expression, he lectured on Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata’s Nobel Prize-winning novel, Snow Country.
In addition to his numerous university-wide responsibilities advising students on curricular choices, research projects, study abroad programs, and career plans, Dean Donahue is also a professor of 20th-century German and comparative literature and has a particular interest in cross-cultural comparisons between German and Japanese literature. He has published two comparative articles on German-Japanese postwar literary relations.
Dean Donahue was awarded his first Fulbright award, a graduate fellowship in Germany from 1983-1985, where he conducted archival research that resulted in his PhD in 1987 and his first book, Forms of Disruption: Abstraction in Modern German Prose (University of Michigan Press, 1993). He has authored or edited six other books since then.
He has also won numerous other honors for his scholarly research including a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) summer research grant in Berlin, the Lawrence Stessin Prize for Best Scholarly Publication at Hofstra, and the Alexander von Humboldt research fellowship in Munich.