King’s and Dalhousie announce the Centennial Carnegie Appointment in the History of Slavery

King's and Dalhousie announce the Centennial Carnegie Appointment in the History of Slavery

A new academic appointment focused on the history of slavery in Canada has been created by Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the association uniting Dalhousie and King’s, the Centennial Carnegie Appointment in the History of Slavery in Canada will advance important scholarship worldwide and contribute to the commitments both universities have made to redress historical exclusions and chart a course for a more inclusive and diverse future—key priorities found in Dalhousie’s Third Century Promise and in the President’s Mandate at King’s.

The Appointment’s announcement precedes the launch of the Fall 2023 Universities Studying Slavery Conference, a major international conference focused on the history and legacy of the transatlantic slave trade and the movement for reparations, with particular focus on the historic role and present-day responsibilities of higher education institutions.

Based in Dalhousie’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), this tenured role, to be filled through a national search, will teach in Dalhousie’s History Department. At least one of the courses taught will be suitable for cross-listing with Dalhousie’s Black and African Diaspora Studies program as well as with a program at King’s. The appointed faculty member will also eventually have teaching responsibilities in King’s Foundation Year Program (FYP).

In recent years, both King’s and Dalhousie have fostered deeper engagement with the difficult legacies of their respective institutions. Inquiries to determine the connections of the universities and their respective leaders and founders to the practices and economics of the transatlantic slave trade resulted in the 2019 publication of the Report on Lord Dalhousie’s History on Slavery and Race, and the 2020 publication of King’s & Slavery: A Scholarly Inquiry. The Centennial Carnegie Appointment addresses recommendations and commitments stemming from these processes of historical reckoning.

“As the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Dalhousie, I am delighted that this historic partnership between Dalhousie and King’s is resulting in a Carnegie appointment that focuses on the history of Black slavery,” says Dr. Jennifer Andrews. “As both universities work to come to terms with the histories, legacies, and continued harms of the practice of Black enslavement, this is an important step in building educational bridges and ensuring that the hard work of change happens.”

The Appointment also forms part of the universities’ responses to urgent calls asking higher education to address anti-Black racism and ensure Black flourishing, by supporting models of ‘inclusive excellence.’ To that end, the two institutions have signed onto the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education: Principles, Actions, and Accountabilities.

King’s Vice-President Dr. Sarah Clift says the Centennial Carnegie Appointment will further a meaningful exchange of ideas and expertise among students and faculty at both institutions.

“This appointment presents such an important opportunity for students in FYP and FASS to gain exposure to a field that has been significantly under-researched, particularly the history of slavery in Canada. Bringing the USS Conference to Halifax is a significant step forward, and this appointment will help King’s and Dalhousie to maintain some of the momentum we expect the conference will generate. It’s gratifying to see the spirit of collaboration that has existed between King’s and Dalhousie over the past century brought to bear on progress toward our shared aspirations.”

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