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Associate Professor Awarded Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant

Cheikh Thiam, associate professor in the Department of French and Italian and Department of African American and African Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, is the recipient of the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant.

Thiam will travel to Senegal and will be affiliated with the Senghor Foundation and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, from December 2017 to August 2018 to research the life, poetry and philosophy of Leopold Sedar Senghor. His project title is, "Negritude Reloaded: an Afri-centered reading of the life, poetry and philosophy of Leopold Sedar Senghor."

Upon completion of his Fulbright, Thiam plans to write a biography of Senghor from the perspective of the people from Joal.

"One of the most surprising incongruences in the discipline of Africana Studies is that Negritude is, on one hand, acknowledged as one of the major philosophical discourses in African Studies, and on the other, it is consistently overlooked in contemporary scholarship," said Thiam. "In effect, Leopold Sedar Senghor’s major philosophical books are out of print, only one of his theoretical books has been translated in English and there is only one book-length study of Senghor as a philosopher."

Thiam hopes that the research he will conduct in Senegal will be of benefit to the discipline of Africana Studies in opening the possibility to rethink its contemporary discourses in light of one of its founding intellectual movements.

Anyone interested in the Fulbright Scholar Program should contact Joanna Kukielka-Blaser.