A different continent, a different role. These circumstances are combining to make Jim Bratt’s third experience as a Fulbright Scholar distinctive. The Calvin history professor emeritus received his third Fulbright Scholar award this past April. This time he will travel to Xiamen, China, to teach U.S. history and European cultural history at Xiamen University.
His first two awards funded research in the Netherlands (in 1985 and 2010), resulting in a biography, Abraham Kuyper and the Image of America in Dutch Neo-Calvinism (2013).
Bratt’s role as a teacher comes naturally after having spent 28 years as a Calvin professor. He is well acquainted with U.S. history and has noble ambition to present the United States in an honest light to his Chinese students.
“I hope to exemplify what it’s like to have academic freedom: to speak critically as well as appreciatively of your subject, to be candid about its faults and injustices, but also communicate that there’s change and reform possible in the United States,” he said. “[I want to] give them live exposure to an American who gets into his country’s ‘stuff’ with nuance.”