Smith receives HU research fellowship

Huntington, Ind.-Dr. Tim Smith, assistant professor of history, has been selected as the 2010 recipient of the Huntington University Research Fellowship.

Smith has two goals for his research. The primary goal is to produce a monograph tentatively titled "Churchill, America and Vietnam." According to Smith, the book would be a review of the Anglo-American World War II trusteeship debate for colonial territories, post-hostilities planning and colonial development. Though historiographies of Churchill exist, Smith suggests that this one is different because it will focus on the British high-policy debate toward the non-British colonial territory of Vietnam.

"The study reflects a new perspective on Churchill's leadership in relation to an issue that could result in multiple British policy denouements," Smith said in his proposal. "It will reveal that Churchill was prepared to sacrifice Vietnam for the sake of his "special" relationship with America - much to the chagrin of the rest of the British establishment who feared that a precedent would be established for the decolonization of the British Empire."

The secondary goal of Smith's project will be to present a paper, provisionally titled "Churchill: The troubled face of Christian biography," at the Conference of Faith and History in the fall of 2010. The paper will stem from his research for the monograph and will "explore problems associated with great men of history and their self-confidence in their leadership abilities." The paper will discuss how urban myths have been utilized by Churchill and others to bolster the divine destiny in times of crisis, which may have prevented historians from producing credible history.

To date, this has been a two year project for Smith and his plan is to turn in a final draft manuscript to Palgrave Macmillan Publishers near the end of 2011. In 2007 Palgrave Macmillan published Smith's "Britain and the Origins of the Vietnam War" and it was an independent peer reviewer of this work that suggested that a project concerning Churchill and Vietnam would be of value to the academic community.

"It is encouraging to see the level of research interest that we have among our faculty," said Dr. Norris Friesen, vice president and dean. "I am glad that we have the opportunity to fund at least some of the research proposals."

Smith joined the faculty in the fall of 2007, having previously taught history at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. Smith is also the director of the Centre for Non-Western Studies and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

The Huntington University Research Fellowship was established in 2005 as a means of recruiting and retaining faculty members by providing funded opportunities for research. One $5000 fellowship is awarded annually to cover the costs associated with the research project in addition to a reduction to the recipients course load. The recipient's salary also is funded for the term of the fellowship. Faculty members are encouraged to submit proposals to the Friesen and the Faculty Appointments and Tenure Committee will make a final selection. Smith was chosen from four applicants.

Faculty who have taught at least two years at Huntington University are eligible to apply for the fellowship. Candidates must have a record of acceptable teaching performance to qualify for the award as determined by FATC, and some preference will be given to faculty prior to tenure and up to his/her first sabbatical leave.