Fulbright fellow to study xenophobia in Austria

College of Arts and SciencesA Washington State University expert in the racial politics of culture has received a Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award for his new research examining xenophobia in Austria.

Richard King, a professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies, will teach cultural studies courses at the University of Graz in Austria in the spring of 2017 supported by a grant from the Fulbright Foundation. While there, he will study the ethnic, racial and religious differences emerging as waves of refugees enter Europe from the Middle East and North Africa amid ongoing concerns about terrorism and security.

Through his research project titled “The Cultural Politics of Difference: Articulating Race, Culture, and Nation in Contemporary Austria,” King will examine the ways in which “citizens grapple with the legacies of anti-Semitism, growing diversity, increased immigration, and resurgent populism,” he said.

“At the same time, my experiences in the classroom in Graz and inquiry beyond it will invigorate my broader teaching and scholarship, pushing both to be more global and comparative,” he said.

King’s work aligns with WSU’s focus on the grand challenge of advancing opportunity and equity to improve lives.

King portrait

A member WSU faculty since 2002, he teaches many of the core courses in CCGRS and regularly offers classes in Native American and cultural studies.He has written extensively about the changing contours of race in post–Civil Rights America, the colonial legacies and postcolonial predicaments of American culture, and the struggles over Indianness in public culture. His research has been influential in shaping current public discussion about the use of Native American imagery in marketing and as sports mascots, leading to the disuse of many such images.

He is the author/editor of several books, including “Team Spirits: The Native American Mascot Controversy” (a National Library Association CHOICE 2001 Outstanding Academic Title); “Postcolonial America”; “Animating Difference: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Films for Children”; “Beyond Hate: White Power and Popular Culture”; and his latest, “Redskins: Insult and Brand.”

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program sends American faculty members, professionals and scholars abroad to lecture and/or conduct research for up to a year. Fulbright programs operate in more than 155 countries worldwide. Many Fulbright alumni also have won Nobel and Pulitzer prizes.