News: Prof. Earns Fulbright Grant

CCU Professor Earns Fulbright Grant

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 America."

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 literary heritage."

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 situation."

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.