Two British Fulbright Scholars to teach at Elon in 2017-18

Faculty members from universities in the United Kingdom will teach courses in literature and history through the U.S.-U.K exchange program.

Two faculty members from universities in the United Kingdom will teach at Elon University next academic year as part of the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission exchange program.

Joanne Pettitt from the University of Kent and James West from the University of Birmingham are among nearly 50 Fulbright scholars from the United Kingdom who will spend the next academic year in the United States.

Most U.K. Fulbright Scholars receive general awards not specifically linked to a U.S. institution, with their time spent primarily on conducting research at large institutions. The Fulbright-Elon University Scholar Award allows Pettitt and West to focus on teaching at a primarily undergraduate university recognized as a leader in engaged learning, while also conducting research. 

“Elon is excited to host these two accomplished scholars during the next academic year and to continue to grow its relationships with both the Fulbright Commission and the numerous U.K. institutions that participate in this important exchange program,” said Tim Peeples, senior associate provost for faculty affairs. 

Pettitt is an associate lecturer in comparative literature at the University of Kent who will teach in the Department of English at Elon this fall. Pettitt received her bachelor’s degree in comparative literature and French from the University of Kent, her master’s degree in English from the University of Warwick and then returned to the University of Kent to complete her doctorate in comparative literature.

Pettitt’s research interests include the literature and testimony of genocide, perpetrator studies and trauma studies. Along with teaching in the English Department, Pettitt will be tracing the cultural history of Holocaust perpetrator fiction and examining how the discourse has changed in relation to particular cultural and historic trends.   

​West is teaching fellow in the Department of History at the University of Birmingham who will be teaching in the Department of History and Geography at Elon in spring 2018. West received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Liverpool and his doctorate in American studies from the University of Manchester.

West’s research interests include 20 century American history, with a focus on African-American cultural and intellectual history. Along with teaching in the History and Geography Department, West will be researching the intersection of Blaxploitation and British film culture during the 1970s, with a focus on the “hidden histories” of British participation in Blaxploitation cinema and the way Blaxploitation cinema was used as a frame by the British public to critique U.S. race relations. 

The U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission offers the only bi-national transatlantic academic awards program between the United States and the United Kingdom. Each year around 50 U.K. and 50 U.S. citizens are awarded scholarships or grants to study, lecture, conduct research, or focus on professional development at a variety of leading institutions.

For more information about the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission visit