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Academic ambassadors, Pacific alliesAustralia, America and the Fulbright Program$
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Alice Garner and Diane Kirkby

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526128973

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526128973.001.0001

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‘Experience is the only teacher’: Academic ambassadors interpret ‘mutual understanding’

‘Experience is the only teacher’: Academic ambassadors interpret ‘mutual understanding’

(p.130) 7 ‘Experience is the only teacher’: Academic ambassadors interpret ‘mutual understanding’
Academic ambassadors, Pacific allies

Alice Garner

Diane Kirkby

Manchester University Press

The Vietnam War posed significant challenges to academics on educational exchange who were expected under the Fulbright program to be ambassadors as well as researchers. The CIA surveillance of the anti-war movement and political interference in the administration of the Fulbright program from government caused academics in both Australia and America to defend the autonomy of the Program. How did scholars interpret the ambassadorial expectation when they were opposed to their government’s foreign policy? Many also found they could not speak critically of their national government without antagonising their hosts. Living up to the Fulbright program’s ideal of achieving ‘mutual understanding’ was very much a matter of learning by experience, to be interpreted by scholars for whom research was actually the priority.

Keywords:   Fulbright program, Educational exchange, Anti-war movement, Australia-US Alliance, Academics and Vietnam War, CIA and universities

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