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Eric Tanner Schluessel Faculty Member

During my second year at GW, my 2020 monograph received the highest possible honor for a book about East Asian history, securing its position on reading lists for many years to come. I also published a peer-reviewed article in a leading journal, which presents early findings from my second monograph project. I also contributed other high-profile publications to an edited volume and an important journal. Several national and international invited talks, including a two-day visit in Prague, expanded my research and professional network. In the spring and fall semester, I taught four formal classes and one independent studies, including three entirely new courses that I plan to offer regularly. I also revamped my “History of Modern China” course to incorporate the latest scholarly insights and to align it more closely to GW students’ interests and learning habits. One of my courses is the first-ever undergraduate course in “Uyghur History,” for which I invited DC-area scholars and activists as guest speakers, making it a truly “Only At GW” experience. I also translated over 300 pages of primary sources for this course, which will form the basis of a planned book-length course reader. Peer reviews presented my teaching as a model for good pedagogy, while student evaluations were also extremely positive, with average ratings ranging from 4.8 to 5.0 out of a maximum 5.0. I spent six weeks in Berlin on a German government grant conducting original research towards my second monograph. It was successful beyond my wildest expectations, and will result not only in a chapter for my monograph, but also a separate scholarly book. The visit also strengthened my collaboration with a colleague in Berlin, whom I plan to visit again in 2022 to examine further sources that are emerging from the vaults. Three small internal and external research grants build on previous fellowships from the NEH (2019-20) and the Mellon Foundation (2018-19). While research travel has been impossible, these grants (totaling about $7,600) have enabled the digitization of critical research materials that I would otherwise have needed to visit in person at a much higher cost. One will also fund an upcoming research trip to work with newly discovered materials that are critical to my second monograph project. Thanks to a grant from the Humanities Center, I am also working with the Gelman Library to create a unique digital resource for the history of China and Central Asia. International collaboration remains a cornerstone of my professional practice. I work closely with an interdisciplinary team of researchers across Europe, Central Asia, and North America on a European grant-funded project. I secured funding from the University Seminars program to run an interdisciplinary seminar on Uyghur studies that connects GW with area scholars both inside and outside universities, including members of the Uyghur diaspora. In four cases, journals and academic presses sought me out as a reviewer for articles, monographs, and book proposals. I am proud to serve on two committees in the Department of History, the Graduate Advisory Committee and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. This involvement allows me to contribute concretely to the realignment of our curriculum while supporting our students’ intellectual and professional development. Finally, I am developing a healthy relationship with the public sector and the arts, having consulted with government and with NGOS, and worked closely with an art collective to produce a multimedia project on Uyghur culture.

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