David J. Gerleman named Fulbright U.S. Scholar

David J. Gerleman named Fulbright U.S. Scholar

David J. Gerleman, adjunct faculty in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University, has been selected as a recipient of a 2024-2025 Fulbright Scholar Award. Gerleman, a Lincoln expert and 19th century American historian specializing in the Civil War era, served for a decade as an editor for The Papers of Abraham Lincoln Project. One of the nation’s most prolific discoverers of unknown Lincoln documents, he has appeared on multiple media outlets discussing Lincoln and Civil War topics.

“I am honored to take part in this prestigious exchange program and the chance to build additional academic bridges between George Mason University and the international scholarly community. We tend to think of Lincoln as an insular American historic figure when he actually has global relevance," Gerleman said. He added, "I also hope to convey to non-American audiences why his image still looms so large in our national consciousness and why U.S. election cycles are never complete without politicians of all stripes seeking to ‘get right with Lincoln.’"

Gerleman will teach two courses at the University of Debrecen, one of Hungary's most prestigious higher education institutions, founded in 1538. He developed both courses—Abraham Lincoln in American History and Memory, and U.S. Diplomatic History, 1776-1920—at Mason. Gerleman’s Lincoln course will utilize his original document research similar to that highlighted in his recent Washington Post article, which established a previously unknown link between Abraham Lincoln and President Biden and sparked global attention.

Péter Csató, chair of the University of Debrecen’s North American Department, said, “We are happy to host Dr. Gerleman for the fall semester. His expertise in 19th century American history will contribute significantly to our students’ in-depth knowledge and understanding of this highly important period of U.S. history, and historian colleagues in the department would also benefit greatly from discussions and consultations with him. We look forward to hosting Dr. Gerleman in Debrecen, and we are all thrilled to work with him.”

Sponsored by Congress and the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program seeks to increase mutual understanding between the American people and citizens of other countries. Recipients exemplify qualities of service, leadership and excellence and include heads of state, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, university presidents, and CEOs as well as distinguished journalists, artists, scientists and teachers.