Two Mershon-affiliated graduate student affiliates are embarking on a new journey this year as part of the record number of Fulbright Scholarship winners at The Ohio State University.

John Knight and John Douglas Johnson, both doctoral students in history, will be working on their Mershon-supported dissertation projects in China and Russia respectively.

John Knight

Knight will spend a year in China researching "Is This the Final Struggle? Popular and Elite Attitudes within China toward the International Socialist Movement, 1917-1956," which examines Chinese views of the Soviet Union from the October Revolution of 1917 until Nikita Khrushchev's "Secret Speech" of 1956.

The Mershon Center supported Knight in conducting eight weeks of preliminary research during summer 2012 at archives in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Harbin, and Shenyang.  He used the knowledge and experience he gained to parlay his project into a successful application for the Fulbright.

He will live in Shanghai, but also will conduct research in Beijing, Chongqing and northeastern China.  Knight will incorporate the findings in teaching East Asian and world history classes at Ohio State.  "My goal is to provide American students with a clearer understanding of China's political and cultural development in the 20th century," he said.

John Douglas Johnson

Johnson is living in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad), Russia, for a year to research reconstruction of the city after World War II for his dissertation on "Building an Electric Future: The Volga Hydroelectric Station and the Construction of Late Socialism in the Soviet Union, 1950-1961."

The Mershon Center supported Johnson for 10 weeks of preliminary research in summer 2012 during which he worked in local archives and at the Volgograd City Library, visited the Volga Hydroelectric Facility, and explored the numerous war memorials and local history museums.

Johnson is now on his fourth trip to Russia since beginning graduate school in 2009.  "Volgograd is the site of one of the most significant battles of the 20th century. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to carry out this extended research trip and look forward to a productive year in Volgograd," he said.

Learn more about Knight and Johnson, as well as Ohio State's other Fulbright recipients, at Ohio State features.