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Monday, 13 October 2014

Northumbria Welcomes Professor Tony Badger

Brian Ward

This week, we welcome Professor Tony Badger to the American Studies and History programmes at Northumbria. This semester he will be teaching with me on the Level 5 African American Freedom Struggle since 1945 module and doing some guest lectures for From Sea to Shining Sea. It’s hard to imagine that a mere 24 years ago, when I got my first full-time teaching job “across the road,” it was me joining Tony to teach on his year-long Special Subject on Martin Luther King.

Professor Tony Badger
In the intervening years, while Tony has been slumming it as Paul Mellon Professor of American History and Master of Clare College at The University of Cambridge, he has cemented his place as one of the most important historians of the US to emerge since World War Two. His books include Prosperity Road: The New Deal, Tobacco, and North Carolina (1980); The New Deal: The Depression Years 1933-1940 (1990); New Deal/New South: The Anthony J Badger Reader (2007) and FDR: The First Hundred Days (2008) – not to mention a highly regarded, nay indispensable, edited collection on The Making of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, co-edited with yours truly. He is currently working on a biography of southern white liberal Al Gore, Sr. (yep, the fiddle-playing father of former vice president Al Gore, Jr) and completing a book on US history between the two World Wars.

Obviously, it gives me great personal pleasure to welcome Tony back to the North East after his years in the wilderness. But I think his decision to join us also stands as testimony to the ambition and strength of American Studies and history at Northumbria right now. Colleagues throughout the Humanities, and students at all levels will enjoy his company and benefit greatly from his vast teaching, administrative, research, and fund-raising experience. He gets his round in, too.

Brian Ward is Northumbria University's first Professor in American Studies. Brian's teaching and research focuses on the American South, the African American Experience (particularly the civil rights and black power movements), popular music, the mass media, America in the 1920s and 1960s, and various aspects of Anglo-American cultural relations.

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