Fulbright scholar completing research at Asbury College
WILMORE, KY—Marek Oziewicz usually teaches English literature at the University of Wroclaw in Wroclaw, Poland—a school of 46,000 students in a city with 700,000 residents. For the last several months, however, he has been living in a town with less than 6,000 residents and working at a school with about 1,300 students.
This year Dr. Oziewicz and his family have moved to Wilmore where Oziewicz is completing research at Asbury College for his book as part of the Fulbright Scholars Program.
Oziewicz is one of approximately 850 outstanding foreign faculty and professionals the Fulbright Scholar Program brings to the U.S. to teach and do research. Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program’s purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.
Oziewicz or “Dr. O”, as he is called by Asbury College students, has been studying several American authors including Lloyd Alexander, Orson Scott Card, Madeleine L’Engle and Ursula LeGuin and their mythological and fantasy writings. He will use their work to take a look at global unification and relationships between people of different cultures, backgrounds and religions, to name a few.
He says as humans, “we need a new vision of how we are going to live together on the planet.” Oziewicz mentioned how what one country does, such as pollute the water, directly affects their neighbors many miles away in another country. “We can not allow a country to pollute the natural environment. Also, the abuse of women and the racial issues are not going to work anymore.”
He feels that fantasy plays a significant role in exploring the components of a new vision.
Oziewicz chose to come to Asbury College because of a friendship with Dr. Devin Brown, novelist, author of a bestselling Inside Narnia (2005), and professor of English at the College. The two met in London and started a conversation over C. S. Lewis. Oziewicz later invited Brown to speak at the University of Wroclaw two times.
He says the United States is the best place to find the most critical reviews of these authors and their writing.
In addition to his literary analysis, Oziewicz is learning more about the American culture and way of life. For instance, the architecture of the buildings, even the way the faucets work and the height of the windows are a little different from Europe.
Oziewicz says his experience in the U.S and at Asbury College has been “far more positive than I could have dreamed or expected.”
His general impression of Asbury College students is that they are serious and know what they want in life. Their spiritual vision of reality and life influences their decisions for life and careers.
“There is a special community at Asbury, the level of commitment and idealism is incredible. It’s a quality of freshness you can rarely find anywhere in Europe.”