Regennia N. Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture and perform research at Obafemi Awolowo University (IFE) in Nigeria during the 2009-2010 academic year, according to the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Williams’ lecture and research activities will focus on the evolving role of religion and spirituality in the recent social histories of African Americans and Nigerians, with special emphasis on the experiences of women (c. 1950 – Present). This period is especially significant because it coincides with the Modern Civil Rights Movement for African Americans and 20th-century independence movements on the continent of Africa. For both the lectures and related research activities, Williams will use a variety of secondary and primary source materials--including books, articles, audio and video recordings, and oral histories-- to document religious and cultural change among women in Nigeria’s Christian, Muslim, and Yoruba faith communities.
Lectures, publications, and other project outcomes have the potential to increase mutual understanding between people from diverse racial and ethnic groups at a time when individuals across the globe are concerned about religious conflict and related civil unrest, forced and voluntary migration, social dislocation, and cultural change. This project is an extension of Dr. Williams’ on-going work for the Initiative for the Study of Religion and Spirituality in the History of Africa and the Diaspora (RASHAD).
Williams is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.
The Fulbright Program, America's flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 294,000 people - 108,160 Americans who have studied, taught or researched abroad and 178,340 students, scholars and teachers from other countries who have engaged in similar activities in the United States - with the opportunity to observe each others' political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants. The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.
Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. Among the thousands of prominent Fulbright alumni are: Muhammad Yunus, Managing Director and Founder, Grameen Bank, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006; Javier Solana, Foreign Policy Chief, European Union; Ruth Simmons, President, Brown University; Craig Barrett, Chairman of the Board, Intel Corporation; Shamshad Akhtar, the first woman to hold the position of Governor, State Bank of Pakistan; Alejandro Jara, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization; Raoul Cantero, Justice, Florida Supreme Court; Renee Fleming, soprano; Gish Jen, Writer; Daniel Libeskind, Architect; Aneesh Raman, CNN Middle East Correspondent; and Sibusiso Sibisi, President and CEO, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa.
Fulbright recipients are among over 40,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. For more than sixty years, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has supported programs that seek to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.
For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit our website at http://fulbright.state.gov or contact James A. Lawrence, Office of Academic Exchange Programs, telephone 202.453.8531, or e-mail email@example.com.
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