UIC HISTORIAN RECEIVES FULBRIGHT LECTURING RESEARCH GRANT
James Searing, associate professor of history and African-American studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has received a senior Fulbright Lecturing Research grant from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Searing will travel to Senegal to help the Historical Museum on Goree Island and the L'Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire-Cheikh Anta Diop develop a new exhibit on the history of slavery and the slave trade. Additionally, he will conduct research exploring the role of religion and ethnicity in resistance to the slave trade, slavery and colonialism.
"Goree Island attracts a large number of visitors everyday, most of whom come because the island evokes the tragic history of the slave trade," said Searing. "It is a world historic site, and I am grateful to be selected as a part of this collaborative project."
The eight-month lecturing/research grant is the first Fulbright grant affiliated with L'Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire-Cheikh Anta Diop and the Historical Museum of Goree. No other U.S. Fulbright winner has ever been assigned to the museum or collaborated with the institute on the history of slavery, Searing said.
"Any new presentation of Goree's history must integrate regional and global issues related to the slave trade," said Searing. "Hopefully, by the end of this project, the museum's displays will guide a visitor through Goree's history as a site of the slave trade and slavery, and have displays that link that history to the larger story of the Atlantic slave trade."
In addition to his work at the museum, Searing will conduct research among all major Sereer communities in the Petite Cote region of Senegal.
Searing's return to Senegal will be somewhat of a homecoming. He received a Fulbright Dissertation Research Grant in Senegal from 1983-84, and was a Fulbright Professor of U.S. and African History at the Universite Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal from 1988-1990.
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