Duque Earns Fulbright to Syria

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dr. Adriano Duque, director of External Honors and assistant professor of Spanish at Rider, is currently conducting research in Syria as part of the Traditional Fulbright Scholar Program. Duque is the 17th Rider faculty member to receive a Fulbright.

His research, entitled Hagiography and Social Norms: Simeon Metaphrastes and the Islamic Legend of St. John the Baptist in 10th Century Greater Syria, will focus on Christian-Muslim relations in the Middle East.

“I was thrilled when I found out about the Fulbright because it’s a very prestigious honor,” Duque said. “I am researching Christian-Muslim relationships in Syria through the figure of St. John the Baptist. I am particularly interested in seeing how both Muslims and Christians used the life of St. John the Baptist to exemplify discourses of tolerance and peaceful coexistence.”

A native of Spain, Duque received two Foreign Language and Area Studies Grants to study Arabic both in Damascus, Syria, in 2001 and in Fez, Morocco, in 2002. While in Syria, he said he was struck by the fascinating correlations between Spain and Syria, where St. John the Baptist is buried in the Ummayad Mosque, or Grand Mosque of Damascus.

“I saw many Christians praying inside the mosque and I became interested,” he explained. “I found many parallelisms in Spain, in particular the feast of the Alhanzara, a feast that took place on June 24 around the figure of St. John the Baptist and where Muslims and Christians worshiped together.”

“I have been working on this topic for the past five years,” said Duque, who as the director of External Honors at Rider, helps students apply to research fellowships, including the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

A member of Rider’s faculty since 2007, Duque holds a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and a M.A. in Spanish Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a M.A. in Latin and Greek Philogy from the Universidad de Sevilla.

In addition to the Fulbright, Duque recently received a scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of Culture to research the politics of memory in 13th Century Spanish epic poetry, and a fellowship from the Fundacion de Segura de la Sierra to record traditional Spanish ballads in the South of Spain.

“This experience will help me develop my research interests and establish research ties with the Arab world,” said Duque, who will study in Syria until June. “I look forward to helping people apply and to share my findings. I have already made many contacts with Syrian and Danish scholars in Damascus.”

The traditional Fulbright Scholar Program sends 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year. Grantees lecture and conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Other Rider faculty members to recently receive Fulbrights include Dr. Lauren B. Eder, Fulbright Specialist Program, to Panama (2009); Dr. Robbie C. Sethi, Fulbright Distinguished Chair, to India, (2009); Dr. Richard Butsch, Fulbright Distinguished Chair, to Italy (2008).

 

Dr. Adriano Duque, director of External Honors and assistant professor of Spanish at Rider, is currently conducting research in Syria as part of the Traditional Fulbright Scholar Program. Duque is the 17th Rider faculty member to receive a Fulbright.

His research, entitled Hagiography and Social Norms: Simeon Metaphrastes and the Islamic Legend of St. John the Baptist in 10th Century Greater Syria, will focus on Christian-Muslim relations in the Middle East.

“I was thrilled when I found out about the Fulbright because it’s a very prestigious honor,” Duque said. “I am researching Christian-Muslim relationships in Syria through the figure of St. John the Baptist. I am particularly interested in seeing how both Muslims and Christians used the life of St. John the Baptist to exemplify discourses of tolerance and peaceful coexistence.”

A native of Spain, Duque received two Foreign Language and Area Studies Grants to study Arabic both in Damascus, Syria, in 2001 and in Fez, Morocco, in 2002. While in Syria, he said he was struck by the fascinating correlations between Spain and Syria, where St. John the Baptist is buried in the Ummayad Mosque, or Grand Mosque of Damascus.

“I saw many Christians praying inside the mosque and I became interested,” he explained. “I found many parallelisms in Spain, in particular the feast of the Alhanzara, a feast that took place on June 24 around the figure of St. John the Baptist and where Muslims and Christians worshiped together.”

“I have been working on this topic for the past five years,” said Duque, who as the director of External Honors at Rider, helps students apply to research fellowships, including the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

A member of Rider’s faculty since 2007, Duque holds a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and a M.A. in Spanish Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a M.A. in Latin and Greek Philogy from the Universidad de Sevilla.

In addition to the Fulbright, Duque recently received a scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of Culture to research the politics of memory in 13th Century Spanish epic poetry, and a fellowship from the Fundacion de Segura de la Sierra to record traditional Spanish ballads in the South of Spain.

“This experience will help me develop my research interests and establish research ties with the Arab world,” said Duque, who will study in Syria until June. “I look forward to helping people apply and to share my findings. I have already made many contacts with Syrian and Danish scholars in Damascus.”

The traditional Fulbright Scholar Program sends 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year. Grantees lecture and conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Other Rider faculty members to recently receive Fulbrights include Dr. Lauren B. Eder, Fulbright Specialist Program, to Panama (2009); Dr. Robbie C. Sethi, Fulbright Distinguished Chair, to India, (2009); Dr. Richard Butsch, Fulbright Distinguished Chair, to Italy (2008).


 

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Dr. Adriano Duque, director of External Honors and assistant professor of Spanish