Jonathan Pitts, Ph.D., associate professor of English at Ohio Northern University, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar to Japan for the 2019-20 academic year. He will teach at American Keio University and Hitotsubashi University in the Tokyo area and lecture in the East Asia and Pacific region. His previous Fulbright award was to Turkey, where he taught in the American Literature and Culture Department at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, from 2010-11.

The Fulbright Program, which aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.

The Fulbright opportunity aligns with Pitts’ teaching expertise.

“My interest in my writing and teaching has always been in bringing diverse stories and people together. In fact, if narratives are really all we have in the world – our identities are stories we tell ourselves and others about who we are – we have no choice but to figure out how to understand each other,” he said. “So that’s the opportunity that a Fulbright offers – the chance to not just teach about how to understand others through narrative, but to be challenged to learn those difficult lessons yourself by living in another culture. As with my Fulbright to Turkey, the Fulbright to Japan will help me to develop all of my courses in the English major but specifically in professional writing, intercultural communication and creative writing.”


“ONU has had a good relationship with Japanese students, and, building on the work at ONU of English language and international programs, in going to Japan I hope to contribute to the development of that relationship.”

Pitts, who joined the ONU faculty in 2000, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Idaho and his Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs and university presidents as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists and teachers. They include 59 Nobel Laureates, 84 Pulitzer Prize winners, 72 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Since its inception in 1946, more than 380,000 “Fulbrighters” have participated in the program.