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Intellect

BYU professor receives Fulbright-Schuman Grant to study in Paris

Scott Sprenger, director of Brigham Young University’s European Studies program and associate professor of French studies, was awarded a Fulbright-Schuman Grant to conduct research on European language policy at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris from February to June 2009.

“It’s a very competitive international award,” said Sprenger. “It’s pleasing to know that my research is valued by Fulbright and the European Union.”

Sprenger’s previous research has dealt with the development of French national identity and political unity as it emerged from “a wildly heterogeneous mixture of cultures and languages,” Sprenger said. While in Paris, he will research a new policy European Union leaders are calling “multilingualism,” a plan to increase cultural unity and identity despite irreversible language barriers. In his project titled, “Learning to Speak European,” Sprenger will study the implementation of these policies in France, Belgium, Romania and Sweden.

“As a professor of French and European cultures, I find it essential to get to Europe as much as possible to recharge my cultural and intellectual batteries,” Sprenger said. “It’s easy to go to libraries or access the Internet from Provo, but there’s simply no replacement for actually being there—speaking the language, associating with European scholars and hanging out at my favorite bookstores. There's a level of intellectual excitement there that energizes my research and teaching every time I return to BYU.”

Sprenger is the Scheuber and Veinz Professor of Humanities/French studies, a distinguished professorship recognizing accomplishments in research. He was also an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at UCLA from 1999-2001.

Established in 1946 under Congressional legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

During its 51 years, more than 70,000 Americans have studied or completed research abroad, and more than 130,000 people have engaged in similar activities within the United States through the Fulbright Program.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Information Agency, an independent foreign affairs agency within the executive branch of the U.S. government.

For more information, contact Scott Sprenger at (801) 422-2770 or scott_sprenger@byu.edu.

Writer: Brady Toone

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