The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) is pleased to announce that Charter Fellow Professor Douglas Ambrose has received a Fulbright Grant to teach American history and American studies in Croatia during the academic year 2012-2013. Mr. Ambrose, Professor of History at Hamilton College, teaches courses in American religious, social, and political history. His publications include Henry Hughes and Proslavery Thought in the Old South (LSU 1996) and The Many Faces of Alexander Hamilton: The Life and Legacy of America’s Most Elusive Founding Father (NYU 2006). He received Hamilton College’s Class of 1963 Excellence in Teaching Award. His many duties at the AHI include leadership of the Christopher Dawson Society.

AHI Charter Fellow Douglas Ambrose

“I am deeply honored to have been awarded a Fulbright scholar grant,” said Ambrose. I hope to offer courses on American intellectual, cultural, and religious history that will enrich and strengthen the American Studies programs in Croatia’s universities. I especially want to offer courses that will help Croatian students understand the processes by which various peoples struggled to define what “America” and “American” meant from the 16th through the 19th centuries. Teaching American history and culture in Croatia will, I am sure, challenge and enhance my own understanding of American history and how best to teach it.

Ambrose explained his fascination with Croatia: “I was aware of Yugoslavia’s disintegration in the early 1990s. In fact, in the 1990s the historic breakup of Yugoslavia hit home, Utica, New York, where I live. It became a leading destination in the United States for refugees from the former Yugoslavia. The more I researched Croatia and its universities, the more intrigued I become at Croatia’s determination—in light of its efforts to join the European Union–to develop academic institutions and programs that would retain its own students and attract students from other nations. I relish the opportunity to contribute to explore the historical processes that, over time and with much struggle, have shaped the meaning and content of ‘America’ and ‘American,’ because the struggle for national identity resonates in Croatia’s own history and in contemporary Croatia. As much as I hope to contribute to my Croatian students’ understanding of American history, I hope as well to deepen their appreciation for the study of history itself, regardless of its specific national or temporal focus. History, as a discipline, as a way of ordering knowledge and of viewing the world, enables students to grapple with the fundamental questions of the human condition. Regardless of what history one studies, a knowledge and understanding of the past presents students with concrete examples of people struggling to make sense of themselves and their world.”

Ambrose will be accompanied on his journey by his wife, AHI Fellow Sheila O’Connor-Ambrose, and their two youngest children, Augusta and Dominic. AHI Resident Fellow Dr. Christopher Hill will be taking over the AHI’s Christopher Dawson Society in Ambrose’s absence.