DURHAM, N.H. – Two professors at the University of New Hampshire have received Fulbright awards, which are among the most prestigious awards that a faculty member can receive and will allow them to do in-depth research abroad.
J. William Harris, professor of history, has been named to the Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair at the Roosevelt Study Center in the Netherlands for next fall. Tom Safford, associate professor of sociology, received a Fulbright Scholar award to study science and coastal development planning in Santa Catarina, Brazil, next fall.
“Fulbright research awards provide a wonderful opportunity for our faculty not only to dedicate themselves full-time to advancing their scholarly projects, but to do so in the rich context of cultural exchange. I am confident that the outcomes for these two professors will be new knowledge that increases understanding of our world and helps solve problems. As gratified as I am to know these two will be taking their skills to the international stage, I am equally pleased knowing they will return to UNH with new perspectives that will enhance their teaching and scholarship,” said Ken Fuld, dean of the UNH College of Liberal Arts.
While at the Roosevelt Study Center, Harris will work on a book on the history of the American South since the Civil War. According to Harris, the goal of his project is a one-volume synthesis, both interpretive and narrative, that will follow the arc of post-Civil War southern history from the still-smoking ashes of the war to the aftermath of segregation’s overthrow.
The Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair allows prominent U.S. scholars in the field of U.S. history and American studies to be affiliated for a four-month period with the Roosevelt Study Center and to work on a book project or article(s) for peer-reviewed academic journals. Awards in the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program are viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program.
“The arc has an endpoint; it cannot be pinned down precisely, but it can be dated symbolically to the moment, sometime in the late 1970s, when more African Americans began to move into the southern states than out of them,” Harris said.
“It was the determination to maintain white supremacy and the belief of white elites that white supremacy was rooted in, and justified by, a particular mythical past, that united this diverse region in a way that makes it possible to speak of a single ‘southern history’ after the Civil War. That determination, and that historical myth, were broken by the Civil Rights Revolution. The South remained, and remains, a region apart, with distinctive patterns in religion, politics, demography, and much else, but southern history is over,” he said.
Safford will collaborate closely with faculty members and graduate students at two universities in Santa Catarina -- Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina and the Universidade do Vale do Itajaí --while implementing his new research project.
“With one of the world’s longest coastlines, the interface between the land and the sea is central to life in Brazil. Population growth, a booming tourism industry, the discovery of offshore oil reserves, and increased demand for fishery resources has created a complex set of competing interests seeking to influence the course of development in coastal Brazil,” Safford said.
“As a Fulbright scholar, I intend to draw upon insights from the sociological study of science, the environment, and organizations, to better understand how access to and assessments of scientific and technical information shapes the behavior of organizations engaged in development and environmental planning in coastal Brazil,” he said.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,300 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.
J. William Harris, professor of history, has been named to the Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair at the Roosevelt Study Center in the Netherlands for next fall.
Safford, associate professor of sociology, was awarded a Fulbright Scholar award to study science and coastal development planning in Santa Catarina, Brazil.