Dr. Janet Black, associate professor of English at Colorado Christian
University, has been awarded a Fulbright grant for the 2012-13 school year. The
grant affords her the opportunity to lecture and research at Makerere
University in Kampala, Uganda, while acting as a "literary ambassador for
With an interest in teaching abroad stemming back to her
Ph.D. work, the final impetus came on a mission trip to China. "A lot of
American literature is misunderstood, and I noticed that when I was in China,"
Black explained. "Students had little knowledge of American literature other
than contemporary media, and they didn't understand the richness of our
Dr. Black will teach classes on early American
autobiography and on contemporary American representations of family, in order
to help students grasp primary values embedded in American culture. The issues
inherent to the diversity in America will also translate to a nation like
Uganda, which encompasses a wide range of ethnic groups and cultures.
"Americans haven't mastered ethnic cooperation, but we have something--in
our literature--to show how we celebrate ethnic heritage," Black said. "I want
my students to see how all groups can value their ethnic, cultural, and
religious expressions in literature."
"I hope my students will
better understand themselves and the way they fit into their multicultural
As part of her grant, Dr. Black will also research
African concepts of literature and the application of transnational literary
theory. She hopes to reinforce CCU's world literature course through her
learning and examine how African concepts of American literature can inform
study here in the United States.
The Fulbright International
Exchange Program, established in 1946, is the most recognized and prestigious
international exchange program in the world. Each year, the program sends over
800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad to lecture and research. Dr. Black
joins four other CCU professors as recipients of the grant, Drs. Stan Dyck,
Windy Petrie, William Watson, and Barbara White.