James West, a Teaching Fellow in the Department of History at Birmingham has received a Fulbright Scholar Award to enable him to lecture at Elon University in North Carolina on one of the most well-regarded and impactful scholarship programmes in the world. James has been selected to teach a pioneering new module on Black British History, one of the first of its kind to be offered at an American university. He will also be conducting research for a new project looking at the transnational impact of African American popular culture during the 1970s.
James and the other 45 British grantees of the 2017-18 Fulbright cohort celebrated their success at a reception hosted by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on Thursday 6 July 2017.
Commenting on receiving the Award, James said: 'I am incredibly excited and humbled to have received this award, and I hope to put my time in the US to good use through the development of new professional and intellectual connections. As a Fulbright scholar, I hope to introduce American students to new perspectives on Black British History, something which is finally beginning to receive fuller recognition in the UK through the development of new degree programmes such as the Black Studies programme at BCU.'
James is a historian based at the University of Birmingham. His research focuses on African American cultural and intellectual history post World War II, with a particular interest in black print culture. He received his PhD in American Studies from the University of Manchester, where his research was funded by the AHRC and the President's Doctoral Scholar Award. At Elon, James will be teaching in the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as conducting research for a new project exploring the transnational impact of African American popular culture in the 1970s. With a love for the outdoors instilled by his forester father, James is also looking forward to exploring Shenandoah and the Appalachian Trail.
Amy Moore, Director of the Fulbright Awards Programme, added: 'No greater example of the continued importance of international education can be found than in the determination and drive of our 2017-18 grantees. These students, academics and professionals have identified the relevance of intercultural cooperation to their careers. As Fulbright alumni and future leaders, they will be able to foster personal and professional connections between nations.'
The Fulbright Commission provides the only bi-lateral, transatlantic scholarship programme, offering Awards for study or research in any field, at any accredited US or UK university. The Commission selects scholars through a rigorous application and interview process, looking for academic excellence alongside a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Programme and a plan to give back to the UK upon returning.