April 22, 2019

And the Pulitzer Goes to…

Congratulations to exchange alumni David W. Blight, Jeffrey C. Stewart, and Eliza Griswold for winning the Pulitzer Prize in their respective categories!

David W. Blight, a 1992 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Germany, received the Pulitzer Prize in History for his book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. The Pulitzer committee recognized Blight’s book as “a breathtaking history that demonstrates the scope of Frederick Douglass’ influence through deep research on his writing, his intellectual evolution and his relationships.” Blight serves as the Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. During his Fulbright program, Blight conducted his research on Afro-American History and the Civil War Reconstruction Period: A Comparative Historical Memory in America and Germany.

Author Jeffrey C. Stewart received the Pulitzer Prize in Biography for his book, The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke. The Pulitzer committee described the book as “a panoramic view of the personal trials and artistic triumphs of the father of the Harlem Renaissance and the movement he inspired.” Stewart was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar in American History to Italy in 2002, where he studied American Intellectual History at the Crossroads. He has spent his career studying the issues of race and culture as they relate to art, history, literature, music, and philosophy. He has been a Fulbright Professor of American Studies at the University of Rome III, a W.E.B. Du Bois and a Charles Warren Fellow at Harvard University, and Lecturer at the Terra Foundation for American art in Giverny, France. Stewart is a professor of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Journalist and poet Eliza Griswold received the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction for her book Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America. Griswold is an alumna of the International Writing Program, where she travelled to Pakistan in 2010. The Pulitzer committee called her book “a classic American story, grippingly told, of an Appalachian family struggling to retain its middle class status in the shadow of destruction wreaked by corporate oil fracking.” Griswold is a Guggenheim fellow, and an awardee of the J. Anthony Lukas Prize.

The Pulitzer Prizes and Fellowships were established in Columbia University by the will of the first Joseph Pulitzer. There are 21 categories across journalism, books, drama, and music. The Pulitzer Prize Board generally selects the Pulitzer Prize Winners from the three nominated finalists in each category.

To date, over 100 exchange alumni have won Pulitzer Prizes! That number now includes 86 Fulbright alumni, who have won a total of 92 Pulitzer Prizes.

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