By Kristin Letsch
With many successful publications behind her, Harpur College English professor Liz Rosenberg, PhD ’97 is moving on to a new novel as well as a new chapter in her life: Fulbright fellow.
“It’s a huge honor to be selected as a Fulbright fellow, and to be entrusted as [an] ambassador in Ireland,” says Rosenberg, who teaches creative writing at Binghamton University. “Ireland has a richer, more fabulous literary tradition than any country I can name, and [my host university] only awards one Fulbright fellowship each year. I’m still a little bit stunned.”
Rosenberg attended Bennington College in Vermont as an undergraduate and went on to earn her master’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University. In 1997, she received her PhD in comparative literature from Binghamton University, where she has remained to teach and write ever since. Her many published works include novels, collections of poetry and picture books, with her most recent work a novel —The Laws of Gravity — released this past May.
Rosenberg will travel overseas as a Fulbright scholar for the US-UK Fulbright Commission for the spring 2014 semester. The prestigious program provides grants to students, teachers, scholars and professionals to study and/ or conduct research internationally.
Rosenberg will teach an undergraduate fiction workshop and a graduate creative writing seminar at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the country’s capital and largest city.
“Queens, an internationally renowned university, has a wonderful creative writing program,” she says. “I’m delighted to be a part of it.”
When she’s not teaching, the writer will research material for her upcoming novel, tentatively titled The Herzogs of Belfast.
“It’s about a Jewish linen manufacturing family caught in the midst of history, and especially ‘The Troubles,’” she says. “The Troubles” refers to a period of violence and political turmoil in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s to just before the turn of the century. “[My novel] is about being an outsider and an insider at the same time, being caught in the middle of conflict . . . and a whole lot more.”
Rosenberg is thrilled for this opportunity, but says being selected came as a shock.
“I was surprised and delighted. . . . I thought I had blown my telephone interview for sure. I kept making jokes and no one was laughing.”
Since being selected, Rosenberg has only one more thing to worry about: traveling. Although it makes her anxious, she says, it’s also exhilarating. She believes traveling is an adventure that every Harpur College student, let alone person, should experience.
“Travel is invaluable for any writer, but I think it’s invaluable for any human being,” she says. “If I had my way, we’d make study abroad a requirement and we’d also find a way to underwrite that experience so that it was affordable for every single student.”
Rosenberg is excited to journey to Northern Ireland, turn a new page and make lasting memories with her family by her side.
“It’s always an honor to see a new part of the world, and an even greater delight to actually live there for a period of time,” she says. “My family is coming, of course, or it wouldn’t be an adventure.”
Last Updated: 12/10/14