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Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy


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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Preface: The Nuances of Blackness: A Genesis and Outline

Introduction: A Meditation on the Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy
Awad Ibrahim, Tamari Kitossa, Malinda S. Smith, and Handel Kashope Wright

Part One: Blackness: What’s in a Name?
Commentary on Part I: Why the Study of Blackness Is Critical at This Historical Juncture
George J. Sefa Dei

1. The Awkward Presence of Blackness in the Canadian Academy
Handel Kashope Wright

2. Exposed! The Ivory Tower’s Code Noir
Delia D. Douglas

3. The Precariat African-Canadian Academic: Problematic Historical Constructions, Perpetual Struggles for Recognition
Ali A. Abdi

4. What Have Deleuze and Guattari Got to Do with Blackness? A Rhizomatic Analysis of Blackness
Awad Ibrahim

5. Dancing with the Invisibility/Inaudibility: Nuances of Blackness in a Francophone Context
Gina Thésée

Part Two: Blackness and Academic Pathways
Commentary on Part II: Blackness in the Canadian Academy: Challenges, Contestations, and Contradictions
Wisdom J. Tettey

6. Hidden Figures: Black Scholars in the Early Canadian Academy
Malinda S. Smith

7. Committed to Employment Equity? Impediments to Obtaining University Appointments
Carl E. James

8 Black Gay Scholar and the Provocation of Promotion
Wesley Crichlow

9 “Certain Uncertainty”: Phenomenology of an African Canadian Professor
Tamari Kitossa

10. Socio-Cultural Obligations and the Academic Career: The Dual Expectations Facing Black Canadian Academics
Kay-Ann Williams and Gervan Fearon

Part Three: Blackness: A Complicated Canadian Conversation
Commentary on Part III: “Killing Us Softly” – with Questions
Annette Henry

11. Fitting (Out-Fitting) In
Henry Daniel

12. The Caged Bird Still Sings in Harmony: The Academy, Spoken Word Poetry, and the Making of Community
Emmanuel Tabi

13. States of Being: The Poet & Scholar as a Black, African, & Diasporic Woman
Juliane Okot Bitek

14. Intersectionality in Blackface: When Post-racial Nationalism Meets Black Feminism
Délice Mugabo

15. Re-spatializing the Boundaries of Belonging: The Subversive Blackness of Muslim Women
Jan-Therese Mendes

Part Four: Black Pasts, Black Futurity
Commentary on Part IV: Surviving Anti-Blackness: Vulnerability, Speaking Back, and Building Black Futurity
Shirley Anne Tate

16. (Re)situating Black Studies at York University: Unsilencing the Past, Locating the Present, Routing Futures at the York University Black Graduate Students’ Collective

17. Community Service Learning and Anti-Blackness: The Cost of Playing with Fire on the Black Female Body
Delores v. Mullings

18. Blackness and the Limits of Institutional Good Will
Omisoore H. Dryden

19. Leadership in Neoliberal Times: A Road to Nowhere
Jennifer R. Kelly

20. Vocation of the Black Scholar in the Neoliberal Academy: A Love Story
Adelle Blackett

21. The Changing Same: Black Lives Matter, the Work of History, and the Historian’s Craft
Barrington Walker

22. Charting Black Presence and Futures in the Canadian Academy
Malinda S. Smith


About the Author

Awad Ibrahim is a professor and curriculum theorist in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. Tamari Kitossa is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Brock University.
Malinda S. Smith is the inaugural vice-provost of equity, diversity, and inclusion and a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary. Handel K. Wright is the inaugural senior advisor to the president on anti-racism and inclusive excellence; the director of the Centre for Culture, Identity, and Education; and a professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia.


Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy gathers highly respected scholars vested incritical pedgaogy as well as critical race and feminist theories . Altogether, they have provided a rich review of relevant literature on interconnected themes explored in their respective chapters. This volume will be ideal for those interested in critical race and ethnic studies, Black studies, sociology, sociology of education, multicultural education, postcolonial theory, and history. - Pierre W. Orelus, Associate Professor of Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation, Fairfield University

This is undoubtedly a much-needed book in the archives of the Canadian academy. Exploring the multiplicity and complexity of the experiences of Black scholars in Canada, the authors express a common theme throughout this collection of essays - the various forms of anti-Black racism experienced by the Black scholar and the perpetual struggle against exclusion from the deeply ingrained culture of whiteness that characterizes institutions of higher learning in Canada. - Joy Mighty, Professor Emerita and Former Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning), Carleton University

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