Katherine K. Preston will spend the spring 2009 semester at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, after being named the Walt Whitman Distinguished Chair of American Culture by the Fulbright Center of the Netherlands.
She will teach a course for undergraduates on American popular music and a course for graduate students on music in American film.
"I love to travel and I love to be in different places," said Preston, the David N. and Margaret C. Bottoms Professor of Music. "What I learn from this kind of travel is a different perspective on my own research and different perspective on education."
Preston, who will be teaching in Leiden's American studies department, has previously taught both classes she will teach while in the Netherlands. As an Americanist, she said she hopes to "share what we have with the world."
"Students in the Netherlands have no clue about the wealth of musical activity in this country during the 18th and 19th centuries, not to mention the 20th Century," she said. "I hope to introduce to them this aspect of American social and cultural history." And while her students are learning about American music, Preston hopes to learn more about the music of the Netherlands.
"I'm going to a country with a great concert tradition-especially in the performance of early music," she said. Preston said she also will try to make some time to travel to England and conduct research.