The National Churchill Leadership Center has announced the awarding of two Graduate Research Fellowships for the 2021–22 academic year. These fellowships enable students to conduct post-graduate work into the career and legacy of Sir Winston Churchill. This year’s grants go to Neil Banerji and Elliot Clark.
Neil Banerji is currently a graduate student studying Modern British History at the University of Oxford. While serving as an intern at the White House, he had the pleasure of meeting with Anthony Dolan, President Ronald Reagan’s former chief speechwriter, who inspired him to undertake further research on Churchill’s wartime leadership for his masters’ thesis. With his fellowship grant from the National Churchill Leadership Center, he hopes to delve into the highly public and polarizing debate of Churchill’s views on empire and race and to present these objectively in their proper historical context.
In light of the recent American withdrawal from Afghanistan, Banerji intends to apply the lessons gleaned from Churchill’s statesmanship in navigating the decline of the British Empire to the contemporary challenges confronting the United States in the post-911 geopolitical landscape. He dedicates his research to his two grandfathers, Dr. Bimal Chandra Banerji, who served in Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s Eighth Army, and Mr. Pronob Bhattacharjee, who survived the Japanese invasion of north-eastern India.
Elliot Clark studies history at the University of Plymouth, where, for his undergraduate thesis, he analysed the role of Clementine Churchill and how her husband’s political career affected their marriage. He called his paper “The Shadowed Adviser.” While working on the study, Clark had the support of the Jennie Churchill Fund, which facilitated his research at the Churchill Archives Centre.
As a postgraduate student, Clark now seeks to continue his study of the Churchill dynasty, this time analysing Winston Churchill’s role as a father. This research will involve investigating the personal relationships between Churchill and his children. He will consider the opportunities the Churchill children had becaue the of their father’s career provided the children as well as the challenges they had to face. Based in the United Kingdom, Clark’s research will be primarily conducted at the Churchill Archives Centre. With the fellowship, however, also comes the opportunity to work with scholars based in North America.
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