For many Canadians, the history of African-Canadians is limited to the Underground Railroad. It’s a history that some historians are working to expand upon. Boulou Ebanda de B’Béri, professor of Communication and Cultural Studies at the University of Ottawa, and co-editor of “The Promised Land: History and Historiography of the Black Experience in Chatham-Kent’s Settlements and Beyond,” joins The Agenda in the Summer to discuss his efforts to move African-Canadian history out of the margins. Watch Prof. Boulou Ebada de B’béri’s interview with Piya Chattopadhyay here.
Fethi Mansouri, Boulou Ebanda de B’béri, Eds. (Routledge Research in Comparative Politics), Routledge, 2014
Multiculturalism is now seen by many of its critics as the source of intercultural and social tensions, fostering communal segregation and social conflicts. While the cultural diversity of contemporary societies has to be acknowledged as an empirical and demographic fact, whether multiculturalism as a policy offers an optimal conduit for intercultural understanding and social harmony has become increasingly a matter of polarized public debate.
This book examines the contested philosophical foundations of multiculturalism and its, often controversial, applications in the context of migrant societies. It also explores the current theoretical debates about the extent to which multiculturalism, and related conceptual constructs, can account for the various ethical challenges and policy dilemmas surrounding the management of cultural diversity in our contemporary societies. The authors consider common conceptual and empirical features from a transnational perspective through analysis of the case studies of Australia, Canada, Columbia, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of political science, comparative politics, international studies, multiculturalism, migration and political sociology.
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Routledge (June 2 2014)
The Promised Land: History and Historiography of the Black Experience in Chatham-Kent’s Settlements and Beyond
Coming this summer University of Toronto Press 2014
With a prologue by Afua Cooper
Eschewing the often romanticized Underground Railroad narratives that portray Southern Ontario as the welcoming destination of Blacks fleeing from slavery, The Promised Land reveals the Chatham-Kent area as a crucial settlement site for an early Black presence in Canada. The contributors present the everyday lives and professional activities of individuals and families in these communities and highlight early cross-border activism to end slavery in the United States and to promote civil rights in the US and Canada. Essays also reflect on the frequent intermingling of local Black, White, and First Nations people. Using a cultural studies framework to their collective investigations, the authors trace physical and intellectual trajectories of blackness, which have radiated from Southern Ontario to other parts of Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and Africa. The result is a collection that represents the presence and diffusion of blackness and inventively challenges the grand narrative of History, especially Canadian history.
Un essai, politique, sur l’oralité dans un corpus de films d’Afrique noire francophone de 1950 à 2000. Dans un langage clair, l’auteur illustre comment dans les sociétés de l’écriture, le texte engagerait l’Homme et que cette écriture aurait imposé un genre, un style et des modes de production de sens qui sont propres à ces sociétés de l’écriture d’où, par exemple, la naissance du langage cinématographique formalisé. Ainsi il se demande ce qui arriverait à une analyse de film calquée sur ce langage dont les articulations discursives ne sont pas nécessairement en adéquation avec la mysticité de la parole qui, elle, engagerait véritablement l’Homme en Afrique noire? Qu’arrive-t-il à l’analyse quand l’image d’une parole détourne le sens prescrit dans les modes opératoires du langage cinématographique des sociétés de l’écrit ? Comment le cinéma, à travers la technique audiovisuelle, devient-il une technologie par excellence capable de nous faire voir la nature mystique et culturelle de cette parole ?
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Black history is Canadian history
February 27th 2013
6:00-10:00pm Agora, Jock Turcot University Centre
Sign up at 6:00pm Coffee and tea provided
Special guest: Sonjah Stanley-Niaah
AMLAC&S with the help of Community Life Services brings you an event to remember- On Wednesday, February 27th AMLAC&S (and associations) will be hosting a FREE open mic/poetry slam in spirit of celebrating cultural awareness and Black History Month. For this event we are introducing a very special guest, Sonjah Stanley-Niaah, author of “DanceHall: From Slave Ships to Ghetto” (2010) who is travelling from Kingston, Jamaica to give us an inspirational talk on her great experiences and journeys. Students and the general public are welcome to come share their opinions, songs and poetry on our rich cultural and Canadian history. The event will be hosted in the Agora (UCU Centre-Jock Turcot), the sign-up sheet for those who would like to participate will be posted at 6:00pm and the show will begin at 7:00 pm. Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided for those who attend the event.
A Retrospective on African Canadian History
Fifth General Symposium, 2012
June 14-16, 2012
Speaker: Lawrence Hill
Ticket Price: $16.50 inclusive
As part of the fifth annual Promised Land Symposium “Claiming the Promise: A Retrospective on African Canadian History”, the symposium is offering an evening with award winning and international best-selling Canadian author Lawrence Hill. Among his work including Any Known Blood and Some Great Thing is the critically acclaimed and influential The Book of Negroes.
Lawrence Hill’s talk this evening will touch on various topics from his personal experiences growing up in suburban Toronto and the effect of that experience on his creative work; his experiences writing about and researching “Black History” in this country and; the themes of this year’s Promised Land Symposium.
Also this evening a special award ceremony will take place as representatives of Distinguished Women in International Service recognize the winners of a local youth Black History writing competition. Read the rest of this entry »
Articulations of memory in cinemas
Friday 02 September – Saturday 03 September 2011
University of Ottawa, Canada
Download the Programme PDF or the timetable in French or English.
The subject of this interdisciplinary and bilingual (French and English) workshop is the articulations of memory in African, diasporic, national, and black cinemas. Representations of memory are linked with the questions of identity and identity structures, because they not only shed light on the past but also reflect on the actual constructions of the past. In our multicultural societies, audio-visual representations of memory seem to question individual identities (Histoires de Sable by Hyacinthe Combari 2004; Corps Plongés by Raoul Peck 1998; Ezra by Newton Aduaka 2006), as far as collectives ones (Camp Thiaroye by Sembene Ousmane 1988; Summer of ‘62 by Medhi Charef 2006; Africa United by Eric Kabera 2010). Through these examples, cinema can be a recording medium in which complex and trans-temporal structures of memory are “rebuilt” or “reinterpreted”.
The Promised Land Project (PLP) is a multidisciplinary research project that focuses on the study the role and evolution of the early black settlements in the Chatham-Kent area, whose role has been uncelebrated and contributions neglected.
The description of such communities as the “final stop on the underground railroad” points to a historical ideology suggesting that this extraordinary heritage is simply an ending rather than the birthplace of something significant and unique. It is not widely known that when Canada became a country in 1867, the sixth-largest population group was people of African descent. The Canadian national history still terms these citizens as “fugitive slaves” disregarding their efforts towards the fight to end slavery in the United States, on the implementation of civil rights in modern Canada, and on the social, cultural and economic development of this region.The overall objectives of this project are:
- to protect primary historical materials
- to make these materials publicly accessible
- to support new academic research and teaching
- to promote community development in this historic region of Canada
- to use the new knowledge generated by the project to frame current discussions of ethnoracial identity, social justice, migration and Canadian multiculturalism
Reframing multiculturalism for the 21st century’s realities
Monday 21 November – Tuesday 22 November 2011
University of Ottawa, Canada
Citizens of multicultural nations often struggle to realize and establish an identity that bridges both their complex past with the uniqueness of their multiple cultural connections as well as their (trans)national belongings. Indeed, in many cases, multiculturalism, as a political structure based on institutionalizing social justice and social equality in many nations is being challenged, not merely because such politics for equality and social justice have failed to establish their main objectives, but because the ideal of such politics must not disregard the human capacity to resist, negotiate or embrace.
This first five year term of the lab has been devoted to the three philosophic pillars of AMLAC&S: (1) the research and the development of questions linked to identity representations and multicultural societies; (2) a partnership development on the national and international level and (3) training in proximity and providing open minded experiences.
In celebration of five years of operations we have produced a quinquennial report that explores the numerous achievements and future projects that the lab has been involved with.
You can get your own copy of the report in print (email us if you wish to receive a copy), <a href="PDF“ or alternatively view it online.
The Conversation Series is a project that focuses on creating a dialogue with filmmakers, researchers, and teachers who examine the world through a cultural perspective. More specifically, the project brings to the surface voices and perspectives that are normally held to the margins of national and cultural grand narratives.
The purpose of this project is to create a comparative study aiming at understanding how racial and cultural identities are articulated in the independent cinemas of Canada, South Africa, and Australia. Given our global contemporary context of new identity practices that are fertile with crisis, we are exploring what can be learned from a study of these specific representations.
The three main objectives of this research are:
- to establish a corpus of thirty films from independent cinemas of the multiracial and multicultural countries of Canada, South Africa, and Australia
- to gain an understanding of the significant factors representing identity practices of center and peripheral groups within the three target countries. This will be achieved by analyzing the epistemological markers of the films as well as interviewing ten of the filmmakers
- to compare historical and ideological foundations represented in these films through their articulations of identity and racial identity practices.
This project is financed by SSHRC from 2007 until 2010.
Memory is a slippery concept. When one considers how culture, history, and society overlap and intertwine, memory becomes a complex of the relations between these elements. If we consider the affects of global, transnational, and trans-disciplinary landscapes, add in the various forms of production, distribution, exhibition and consumption, the movement of memory becomes incredibly dynamic and at times, overwhelming.
We can see how this occurs within the redefinition and re-articulation of macro/micro cultural identities and citizenship within, across, and beyond the traditional, canonist conceptions of continent, nation, geopolitical space, and sociocultural identity (ethnicity, race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, etc.).
Thus the main field of study for this book series is the irresistible shifting landscapes of the traditional fields of studies in the humanities and social sciences. Specifically, the African and Diaspora Cultural Studies Series centers around the paradigms and geopolitical locations that are producing, contesting, and reproducing knowledge relevant to African issues and the Black Diaspora. Contact founders: Boulou Ebanda de B’béri (University of Ottawa); Keyan G. Tomaselli (University of KwaZulu Natal) and Handel K. Wright (University of British Columbia) for more detail.
The African and Diasporic Cultural Studies Series (ADCSS) is published by The University of Toronto Press. Contact the Acquisition Editor: Siobhan McMenemy