Professor Martin receives coveted Fulbright Scholar Specialist position

Longtime Cornell College Professor James Martin will travel to Germany this spring in a unique opportunity to take part in the Fulbright Specialist Program.

Music Professor James Martin (Credit: Envisage Studio)
Music Professor James Martin

Martin will be a Fulbright Scholar Specialist at the University of Berlin’s John F. Kennedy Institute (Freie Universität Berlin) for six weeks in April and May of 2017. He will teach two graduate seminars including John Cage and the American Avant-Garde and Rock Music.  He will also advise the Institute on curriculum and faculty development.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to interact with professors at University of Berlin, to learn about how German students approach various topics, and the opportunity to take advantage of the cultural life in Berlin,” Martin said.

The program connects U.S. scholars with scholars at host institutions overseas to work on projects in their area of expertise. Those chosen are highly experienced in their academic field and represent a variety of academic disciplines.

Martin applied for the position and was granted a spot on the Fulbright roster. Once that happened, he needed to make contacts, so that a university could choose him to visit their country.

“I chose only two countries, Germany and Austria, and made contact with universities there,” Martin said. “There have been a number of them who expressed serious interest in bringing me.  The University of Berlin won out for several reasons, the primary professor with whom I interacted was great at getting through the process and interacting with me, Berlin was a top choice in my mind, and the John F. Kennedy Institute in Berlin is renowned as the top American Studies Institute in Europe.”

This Fulbright Scholar Specialist Program has a five-year window of eligibility that can be renewed one time for an additional five-year period.  There must be a two-year interval between Fulbrights within the five-year window for the individual.  The University of Berlin has already expressed interest in a return for Martin in the spring of 2019.

“I am most pleased that Martin has been chosen as a Fulbright Scholar Specialist,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of College Joe Dieker. “This will be a wonderful opportunity for Professor Martin, and for the scholars with which he will be collaborating. His selection for this program is evidence of his fine reputation as a scholar and professor both on our campus and in the wider academic community.”

Other universities are also possibilities for Martin in the future. Many showed interest in bringing him to their schools. Fulbright Scholar Specialists get items such as airfare, meals, and lodging paid for by the program.

Martin has been a valued member of the Cornell College faculty since 1981. He teaches and performs research in piano, music history from 1600 to the present, opera, Beethoven, Wagner, John Cage, and the history of the avant garde.