Embry-Riddle Professor Receives Prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Grant
Daytona Beach, Fla., Aug. 20, 2007 – Professor Douglas Selvage of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach campus has received a two-year Collaborative Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in the amount of $150,000 for the translation and annotation of 2,370 pages of documents relating to the history of the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1990.
The Warsaw Pact was the Soviet-led alliance in Eastern Europe during the Cold War that would have fought against U.S. and NATO forces in Europe in the event of a third world war. Selvage’s project is one of only 23 new projects funded nationally through the Collaborative Research Grant program. The NEH grant is funding the translation and editing of formerly classified documents from Polish, Czech, German, Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, and Russian into English for posting on the website of the Parallel History Project (PHP) on Cooperative Security (www.php.isn.ethz.ch).
The translations, which will be freely available to scholars and the general public, will provide new insights into questions such as the following: How did the Warsaw Pact function? Was there a real danger of nuclear war? Why did communism collapse? What role did human rights, economic considerations, and developments in Asia play in the Warsaw Pact’s foreign policy during the Cold War? Were the communist states afraid of a U.S. “first strike” during the 1980s? In addition to directing the project, Selvage will translate Polish and German documents into English, annotate document collections, and edit translations by other scholars.
The project’s research director, Vojtech Mastny, Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University and Project Coordinator for the PHP, will also annotate and edit documents. Other project translators include Laszlo Borhi, Senior Fellow at the Institute of History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Jordan Baev, Associate Professor in Contemporary History and Senior Research Fellow in Security Studies at the Rakovski Defense and Staff College in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Selvage, who joined Embry-Riddle as an assistant professor of history last year, specializes in modern German and Polish history and the history of international relations. Previously, he worked for five years as a documentary editor in the Office of the Historian at the U.S. Department of State. He has received numerous awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany and a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities. Selvage, who received his Ph.D. in history from Yale University in 1998, has published widely on the history of the Cold War in U.S. and international publications.
The Parallel History Project (PHP) at the Swiss Center for Security Studies provides new scholarly perspectives on contemporary international history by collecting, analyzing, and interpreting formerly secret governmental documents. Since its establishment in 1999, the project has collected thousands of pages of material on security-related issues of the Cold War, published a large number of online documentaries on central issues such as mutual threat perceptions and alliance management, and organized several major international conferences on war planning, intelligence, and intra-bloc tensions. In 2005, Foreign Affairs journal described PHP as “by far the most ambitious and integral project in the burgeoning field of Cold War history.”
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, offers more than 30 degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Engineering. The university educates more than 34,000 students annually in undergraduate and graduate programs at residential campuses in Prescott, Ariz., and Daytona Beach, Fla., Worldwide at more than 130 centers in the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East, and through online learning. For more information, visit www.embryriddle.edu.
Mary Van Buren
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University