Herts student wins first ever Bloomsbury Academic Writing Fellowship

 1 January 2024 2 February 2024
2 February 2024

A student at the University of Hertfordshire has become the first ever winner of an academic fellowship aimed at uncovering new authors from underrepresented backgrounds.

Tionne Alliyah Parris won the Bloomsbury Academic Writing Fellowship for her work on 20th century liberation struggles by Black radical women, titled 20th Century Black Radical Women engaged in the struggle for Black liberation in the United States and abroad.

As part of her Fellowship, she will receive £1,000 and dedicated mentorship from Bloomsbury editors, who will support her to develop a final manuscript to be submitted to a range of academic publishers.

Tionne said: "I am grateful to be chosen as the first recipient of the Bloomsbury Academic Writing Fellowship. I also want to thank the steadfast network of support who have pushed and supported me along the way to this success. I am really looking forward to completing a manuscript that will further elevate the voices and activism of incredible Black women who spent their lives struggling for Black Liberation throughout the 20th Century."

“Tionne’s fellowship is fantastic news and a mark of her skills as both a historian and a communicator,” added Tony Shaw, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Hertfordshire. “She’s unearthed some gems from the US archives, which is quite a feat for a PhD student based in Britain. Tionne’s work asks us to think differently about the history of American communism, Black women and Black liberation. The fellowship will help get this work to a wider audience.”

The Bloomsbury Academic Writing Fellowship is the first of its kind, aimed at uncovering talent and new authors who have started their work but have not yet turned it into a proposal which is ready to submit to a publisher. The programme has been created to support particular areas of academic publishing where Bloomsbury would like to have better representation and more diverse opinions, stories and ideas.

This year, applications were open to up-and-coming authors and researchers with African or African Caribbean heritage, based in the UK. The fellowship aims to expand its remit in the future, so that it can be offered to many more underrepresented author groups within core academic fields of study.

Dr Kadian Pow, Lecturer in Sociology and Black Studies, Birmingham City University, said: “Programmes like the Bloomsbury Academic Writing Fellowship take seriously that inequality is not just historical, but structural in the ways it is sustained. It takes institutions of all kinds to recognize that there are talented, brilliant researchers and writers out there who are overlooked through no fault of their own. It is my wish that Bloomsbury can be a leader in this industry.”

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