Yesterday, NSCAD University announced Charmaine A. Nelson as Canada Research Chair in Transatlantic Black Diasporic Art and Community Engagement.
Nelson, formerly professor of art history at McGill University, will use the funded, seven-year position to develop the Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery.
“Black or African-Canadian studies in Canadian academia continue to be largely absent compared to the progress made over decades in the United States for such programs, department and institutes,” said Nelson in a release. “I am very pleased that creating this infrastructure with NSCAD will provide a one-of-a-kind destination with the space, resources, and community for scholars, artists and cultural producers to create work related to Canadian Slavery and its legacies.”
The new institute will be created at NSCAD University’s Fountain Campus as a hub for the study of art, visual cultures and histories of Canadian Slavery and its legacies. It will create exhibitions, forums, programs and a database, among other elements.
It will be “the first such research institute in the nation and only one of a handful in the world that focus on Transatlantic Slavery,” says a release.
“The institute will allow average Canadians of all backgrounds to better understand the centuries-long presence of people of African descent in Canada,” Nelson added. “As well as Canada’s role within the broader transatlantic world as dependent upon the enslavement of 12 million expropriated Africans for the labour to produce an early version of modern capitalism.”