Addressing the Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy

Thursday, March 31 2022 |  10:00 – 11:30 am PST |  2:00- 3:30 pm EST


As part of our #BlackAfterFebruary series we present:

Addressing the Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy



  • Handel Kashope Wright


  • Awad Ibrahim
  • Tamari Kitossa
  • Malinda Smith
  • Handel Kashope Wright



  • Nombuso Dlamini
  • Isaac Saney

Panel Description:

Join us for a robust discussion of what it means to be Black in the Canadian academy. The complexities of Black identity and of teaching, learning, and researching while Black will be explored by the editors of the newly released book, Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy– Awad Ibrahim (University of Ottawa), Tamari Kitossa (Brock University), Malinda S. Smith (University of Calgary), and Handel Kashope Wright (University of British Columbia). Following their presentations, Nombuso Dlamini (York University) and Isaac Saney will offer additional perspectives on the book’s theme. This two-part discussion will be moderated by Handel Kashope Wright.


Book Description:

The essays in Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy make visible the submerged stories of Black life in academia. They offer fresh historical, social, and cultural insights into what it means to teach, learn, research, and work while Black.

In daring to shift from margin to centre, the book’s contributors confront two overlapping themes. First, they resist a singular construction of Blackness that masks the nuances and multiplicity of what it means to be and experience the academy as Black people. Second, they challenge the stubborn durability of anti-Black tropes, the dehumanization of Blackness, persistent deficit ideologies, and the tyranny of low expectations that permeate the dominant idea of Blackness in the white colonial imagination.

Operating at the intersections of discourse and experience, contributors reflect on how Blackness shapes academic pathways, ignites complicated and often difficult conversations, and reimagines Black pasts, presents, and futures. This unique collection contributes to the articulation of more nuanced understandings of the ways in which Blackness is made, unmade, and remade in the academy and the implications for interrelated dynamics across and within post-secondary education, Black communities in Canada, and global Black diasporas.



Awad Ibrahim is a professor and curriculum theorist in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa.

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.

Isaac Saney is the Director of the Transition Year Program at Dalhousie 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.

Nombuso Dlamini is professor and the inaugural Jean Augustine Chair in Education in the New Urban Environment at York University.

Tamari Kitossa is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Brock University.




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