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Bethlehem, Pa., June 13, 2011 -- Anne Dutlinger, associate professor of art, has been awarded a 2011-2012 Fulbright Scholar Award. This prestigious award will allow her to spend two semesters living in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, where she will work with students at Algoma University, which is about 35 percent First Nation (indigenous) students.
Her project, titled Culture, Cartography, and Identity in Upper Canada, centers on how place affects the formation and growth of our identities. Among other work, Dutlinger will produce artists’ maps of the Algoma region, one of which will focus on these indigenous people, the Anishinaabe, who have few maps created by or for them. Dutlinger hopes to begin a “visual conversation” to address that historical and cultural void. She also will give image-lectures and lead workshops and will consult on the development of a graphic design curriculum for Algoma University. In addition, Dutlinger will be a student there, taking classes in geography, geomatics, and the Anishinaabe culture.
During the spring 2012 semester, Dutlinger will offer a course at Algoma that will combine graphic design, history, language, religion, politics, and art. “Using contemporary design tools and technology, and informed by historical research and the experiential knowledge of their elders, students can create new maps to sustain and preserve their history, culture, and environment,” says Dutlinger.
She already has faced her first challenge at the university. When visiting the campus last year for preliminary meetings with the dean and faculty members, she met several Anishinaabe students who were working on a visual timeline. When they invited her to participate in their discussion, she immediately realized the directional problems she would encounter, since their culture constructs time from right to left.
“Time begins in the east, where the sun rises. Rather than reading left to right as is the Western convention, the students’ timeline began on the right. I immediately walked to the end of their timeline and began to read!” she says. “My questions about how to direct a predominately left-to-right reading audience led to a lively, engaged, and productive discussion.”
Dutlinger has served as chair of the Art Department for ten of her thirteen years as a faculty member at Moravian. She also was elected faculty representative to the Board of Trustees, and served on the Planning and Budget Committee, and several committees. These positions helped Dutlinger learn that it takes “consistent generosity and goodwill to maintain the fragile alliances between group members”—knowledge she will take with her when bridging any cultural divides she finds in Ontario.
As a child, Dutlinger spent every summer at her family’s cabin on a pristine lake near the Anishinaabe reservation near Thessalon. Days were so full of swimming and spending time with her extended family, that Dutlinger never visited the Anishinaabe reservation. A year from now, she knows she will be intimately connected with the land and its people, an experience she says will change her in ways she cannot even begin to imagine. “Working with First Nation students will transform me. I love being in situations where I know I have a lot to learn.” She hopes that as her students explore their history, culture, and identity, their sense of place will profoundly expand and alter. By expanding their horizons, she will expand hers as well. “That’s what I love about teaching,” she says. “I’m always outside of what I’m sure of—and that means I’m learning and growing.”
Dutlinger begins her sabbatical later this month and will return to Moravian’s campus for the Fall 2012 semester. She plans to bring her Canadian and Anishinaabe experiences back to Pennsylvania with her in the form of plans for an exhibition and book, a web exhibition, and projects for her Moravian design students that focus on sustainability of culture. Dutlinger will blog on the Art Department site which will a carry a link to her own, expanded blog.
Earlier this spring, Moravian College alumna Cynthia Dretel ’10 was named a Fulbright Scholar, the eighth Moravian student to be awarded a prestigious Fulbright in the past twelve years. Each year the Fulbright Program allows Americans to study or conduct research in over 100 nations. The Institute of International Education (IIE) coordinates the activities relevant to the U.S. graduate student program and conducts an annual competition for the scholarships, most of which are for one academic year of study or research.
The U.S. Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946, immediately after World War II, to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Today the Fulbright Program is the U.S. Government's premier scholarship program. It enables U.S. students, artists and other professionals to benefit from unique resources all over the world. The Fulbright (Full Grant) provides round-trip transportation; language or orientation courses, where appropriate; tuition, in some cases; book and research allowances; and maintenance for the academic year. The U.S. Student Program is designed to give recent B.S./B.A. graduates, masters and doctoral candidates, and young professionals and artists opportunities for personal development and international experience. Most grantees plan their own programs.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Moravian partners with students to build a strong foundation for their future. Visit the College’s Web site at www.moravian.edu. For more information on commencement at Moravian, visit http://www.moravian.edu/studentLife/commencement/.