A West Virginia University history professor will spend part of next year in Poland teaching and lecturing about the nations often painful past.

Robert Blobaum, chairman of the Department of History and a scholar of modern Poland, will teach at Warsaw University from Feb. 1-June 30, 2006, as a 2006 Fulbright Distinguished Chair of East European Studies.

I am truly looking forward to the challenge of working with students at the Center for East European Studies program,Blobaum said.Most Fulbright lecturers teach courses on American society, history and culture at universities abroad, but the courses that I will be teaching to Polish students will be about their own recent and often painful history within a regional context.

I will also be giving guest lectures at other universities outside of Warsaw,he added.In this capacity, I will generally serve as the principal representative of the American academic community in Poland. It is a special honor to do so, and Im very grateful for the opportunity afforded by the Fulbright appointment.

Blobaum was selected by the U.S.-Polish Fulbright Commission and the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars. Awards in the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program are viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program and reserved for those with a prominent record of scholarly accomplishment.

Recognized as a leading scholar on 20th century Polish politics and society, Blobaum is the editor ofAntisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland,a book of essays by Polish and American scholars. He has also written numerous articles and books, includingRewolucja: Russian Poland, 1904-1907andFeliks Dzierzynski and the SDKPiL: A Study of the Origins of Polish Communism.

Blobaum joined the faculty in WVU s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences in 1984. He has been recognized by WVU with the WVU Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award, the Eberly Colleges Outstanding Teacher Award and the WVU Benedum Distinguished Scholar Award. His doctorate in history is from the University of Nebraska.

The Center for East European Studies was established at Warsaw University in 1990. The centers areas of specialization include East Central Europe; Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus; and Central Europe and the Balkans.