Stewart Receives Fulbright Grant to Teach in Rome

Posted: December 23, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

Jeffrey Stewart, professor of History and Art History and director of African American Studies, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to lecture for the American Studies Program at the University of Rome this spring. Stewart will also use the grant to conduct research on the Italian Renaissance and to see how it relates to the Harlem Renaissance in America in the 1920s.

Stewart, who came to George Mason in 1986 after teaching at Howard University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and Scripps College, will teach a graduate-level course in Rome based on the course American Minds, which he developed at Mason. He will also teach a general American history course and a graduate seminar class while abroad.

“I think that Italians find the American mind very interesting,” Stewart says. “The course focuses on all voices in American culture, including people who are essentially silenced in typical intellectual histories of the American mind.” Using critical events in American history, such as the writing of the Declaration of Independence, Stewart will bring primary sources to the classroom to show the other voices in history who contributed to the discourse of society. Letters from women and African Americans of the time period–voices which, Stewart says, are often neglected–will help his students see the other influences that shaped American history.

Stewart received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1979. He is the author of The Critical Temper of Alain Locke; To Color America: The Portraits of Winold Reiss; Race Contacts and Interracial Relations; and Paul Robeson: Artist and Citizen. His teaching interests include museum studies, comparative slavery, the history of American thought, and American culture in the 1920s and 1930s, especially the Harlem Renaissance. While in Italy, Stewart will conduct research on the Italian Renaissance in the 14th through 16th centuries. He hopes to draw comparisons between that time period and the Harlem Renaissance, both of which he believes worked to promote humanism and bring about great contributions to the arts.

The Fulbright program awards approximately 4,000 grants each year to American students, teachers, and scholars to study, teach, and conduct research around the world, and to foreign nationals to engage in similar activities in the United States. Individuals are selected based on academic and professional qualifications, in addition to their ability and willingness to share ideas and experience with people of diverse cultures. The program is administered by the U.S. Information Agency. More than 40 foreign governments share in the funding of these exchanges.

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