Journalism Department Chair and Professor Brian J. Bowe has been awarded a Fulbright fellowship to conduct research abroad in the Palestinian Territories (West Bank) for the 2023-2024 academic year.
Bowe will work with partners at Palestinian universities on journalism curriculum design, academic research and writing. He plans to work with An-Najah National University, Hebron University, and other institutions.
Among his research topics: cross-national research on why students join university journalism programs.
“As trust in news media declines, some people have poor attitudes about journalists, and in some parts of the world, journalists put themselves in physical danger doing their work,” Bowe says. “So I’m really interested in what motivates students across cultures to study journalism. I’m also interested in how those students conceptualize the role of journalism in society.”
Bowe has already conducted related research in the U.S. and Tunisia and is planning to collect data with partners in several other countries. His goal is to continue to follow this study long-term and across many cultures.
While he’s in the Palestinian Territories, Bowe will conduct media literacy trainings with Political Science Professor Bidisha Biswas, thanks to a separate $50,000 grant from the U.S. State Department through the Office of Palestinian Affairs. Still another grant will go toward establishing WWU Journalism Department study-abroad collaborations in the Palestinian Territories.
Bowe also received a Fulbright award in 2018 to teach in the American Studies graduate program at University of Jordan. Without a research idea in mind, he describes his first Fulbright experience as cultural immersion.
“In a lot of ways, I think that first Fulbright laid the groundwork for this Fulbright,” Bowe says. “Working on that solidified my interest in issues of curriculum design and assessment, which is going to be a big component of this upcoming Fulbright.”
Bowe will also sharpen his journalism chops writing for an arts and culture magazine called “This Week in Palestine.”
“The great thing about ‘This Week in Palestine’ is I will be writing about Palestinian arts and culture for Palestinian audiences,” he says. “This is going to provide me with a new challenge that I’m very excited about.”
Bowe has an extensive background in music journalism. He is the author of young adult biographies of the Ramones, The Clash, Judas Priest and served as editor and chief of the online resurrection of CREEM Magazine.
Bowe will be leaving for three months next fall, and then another three in the following academic year.