Lyon College professor named Fulbright Scholar

by George Jared ([email protected]) 215 views 

The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board have announced that Dr. Scott Roulier has received a Fulbright award to Ahmedabad, India, to teach at the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) and to research the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project (SRDP).

Roulier, the David Trimble Sr. Professor of Political Philosophy at Lyon, is one of about 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2020-21 academic year through the program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

“Every person’s life is a repository of the kindnesses shown and the investments made by others. I am grateful for my supportive family and friends – and especially my colleagues and students at Lyon College,” Roulier said.

While some Fulbright awards focus on teaching or research, Roulier will enter a hybrid program. He will spend about half his time teaching and the other half researching.

He plans to teach two graduate level courses at CEPT: “The Politics of Urban Spaces” and “Critical Urban Theory.”

The Politics of Urban Spaces will explore different urban templates, such as suburbs, and study strategies to make cities more resilient. Critical Urban Theory will emphasize how “space” is socially constructed. The course will use readings from the fields of philosophy, political theory, anthropology, and geography to examine how spaces are produced and how they in turn shape human identity, economic opportunities, and democratic practices.

“This interdisciplinary course looks at how space isn’t just an empty receptacle. We produce these spaces, and that has all sorts of political and philosophical implications,” he added.

For his research project, Roulier will apply post-colonial theory to the construction of the SRDP. Post-colonial theory considers how the political leaders and intellectuals of indigenous populations, though determined to chart a different course, often carry on colonial strategies of the former regime after gaining independence.

“Still, as insightful as post-colonial theory can be, its application can be taken too far, stifling legitimate development,” he said. “It is important for architects and urban planners to be able to sensitively and sensibly modify the built environment in order to promote the well-being of all citizens.”

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

Roulier received his Ph.D. in government from the University of Virginia and since 2000 has taught American politics, political theory, and constitutional law at Lyon College. Roulier has been the recipient of a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) full-grant and, in 2005, was named the Carnegie Endowment/CASE Arkansas Professor of the Year. The author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, he has also published two books, Kantian Virtue at the Intersection of Politics and Nature and Shaping American Democracy: Landscapes and Urban Design.

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