posted March 8, 2004

David Klooster Receives Fulbright Award

David J. Klooster, professor of English at Hope College, has won a Fulbright Scholar award to teach and conduct research at University of Klagenfurt, Austria, in 2005.

It is the second Fulbright grant awarded to a member of the Hope College faculty this year. Earlier, William Cohen, professor of history emeritus, won a grant to teach in Japan.

Klooster will teach courses in American literature and conduct research on witches and warfare in the late 17th century in southern Austria. "Witchcraft figures in many American literary texts," said Klooster, "and at the same time Americans were conducting witch trials in Salem in the 1690s, many European countries were swept up in a witch frenzy as well. I'm curious to learn more about the cultural and religious conditions that fueled those prosecutions."

This is Klooster's second Fulbright award. He was a Fulbright Fellow at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 1992-93."Overseas study and living are tremendously enriching experiences," he said. "I'm grateful for this opportunity provided by the U.S. and Austrian governments, and by Hope and the University of Klagenfurt, to teach and learn in a new setting."

For more than 50 years, the Fulbright Scholar program has sponsored the exchange of students and scholars between the United States and many other countries around the world. The U.S. government's flagship academic exchange effort, Fulbright annually sends 800 U.S. scholars to academic institutions abroad, and brings 800 foreign scholars to the United States. The goal of the program is to promote "mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world."

Fulbright awards run in the Klooster family. Klooster's brother Dan and father, Fred, have also previously received awards.

"My father was the first Fulbright Fellow in the Netherlands after World War II," Klooster said. "I guess we have this desire for overseas study in the blood. Senator J. William Fulbright is regarded as a saint in our family."

Klooster has been a member of the Hope College English faculty since the fall of 2000. He earned his B.A. from Calvin College, his M.A. from the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D. from Boston College.

He has previously been a faculty member at DePauw University in Indiana and most recently at John Carroll University in Ohio. He is co-author of "The Writer's Community" (1995) and "Phantoms of a Blood-Stained Period: The Complete Civil War Writings of Ambrose Bierce" (2002) and co-editor of "Ideas without Boundaries: International Education Reform through Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking" (2001).