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Daniel Friedman

College: Brooklyn College
Awards: Fulbright U.S. Student Program, 2014

Researching Linguistic Connections in Austria

Daniel Friedman (Brooklyn College, MFA in Creative Writing 2014) is a mathematician, a poet, philosopher and scholar of the German language. For Friedman, a Fulbright Award will allow him to finally connect those diverse academic and intellectual interests.

Friedman believes the key to cultural exchange and mutual understanding between two cultures lies in the study of their languages. With his Fulbright in Vienna, Friedman plans to collaborate and write a poetry manuscript focused on the philosophical and poetic potentials in German and English.

“When one speaks of promoting cultural exchange and mutual understanding, a critical investigation of language … is often taken for granted,” Friedman wrote in his Fulbright grant proposal. “For my proposal, language itself is the object of research, particularly specific linguistic elements within German and their relationship to those in English.”

Friedman said Austrian thinkers and the German language have long played an important role in his academic and creative life. As an undergraduate at the University of Oregon, Friedman studied both philosophy and math, immersing himself in the ideas of Austrian mathematician Kurt Friedrich Gödel and Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

After obtaining his undergraduate degree, he devoted himself to poetry and was accepted into the Brooklyn College MFA in creative writing program.

While in New York, Friedman worked directly with Austrian artist Moussa Kone. They soon began discussing the potential for collaboration by pairing Kone’s visual art with Friedman’s poetry.

“These discussions along with my continued academic studies are at the core of this present Fulbright proposal,” Friedman wrote in his Fulbright personal statement. “I will pursue it through artistic collaboration, academic involvement and linguistic research.”