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Professor Paul Ward 

Professor Paul WardI am Professor of Modern British History at the University of Huddersfield. I'm also currently (2009) acting as head of history and director of research in the School of Music, Humanities and Media. Since returning from Westminster College I've been working on Welsh history and Britishness, and will publish a biography of the little known Welsh political leader Huw T. Edwards in 2010.

Without doubt, my year at Westminster College has had a major impact on my career. It gave me the time to finish my third book and also allowed me space to think about my subsequent project on Welsh history, which was funded by a British Academy grant. I have little doubt that it was pivotal in my promotion to full professor in 2006. But more than my stay in Missouri alerted me to my next major project - the influence of Americanisation on British society. I aim to spend the next few years exploring this under-researched area. Living in the States allowed me to begin to understand the complexities of such a varied country and to think about British attitudes to America in the last century. At the moment I'm researching British cinema audiences' responses to British-born Hollywood stars, beginning with James Mason, thinking about the way in which America was viewed through localized perspectives.

But the Robertson-Fulbright Professorship was about so much more than just my career. My wife Jackie and two children, Georgia (then 8) and Oscar (then 6) came too and we all enjoyed the landscapes and culture of the States. We visited about 20 states, from Alabama to Washington, and were constantly amazed at what we saw.

My staff page at Huddersfield is at http://www2.hud.ac.uk/staffprofiles/staffcv.php?staffid=31

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