Africville, Nova Scotia
The following documentary titled Remember Africville (1991), available on the National Film Board of Canada site, recounts the history of a small black settlement called Africville, located within the seaside city limits of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The settlement was a racially isolated area established in the 1830s by population of African descent – former slaves, escaped slaves and free people, often Black loyalists – whom played a founding role in the settling of Nova Scotia seeking employment and a better life.
The community of Africville grew in the 1900s with its own school and church. Systemic racism limited employment opportunities and was an underlying cause for the refusal to provide basic municipal services (e.g., roads, plumbing, water) to the community. Despite resistance and protest, the families were forcefully relocated in the 1960s and their homes demolished in the apparent pursuit of municipal urban renewal policies undergoing across Canada. The residents of Africville were often relocated to government housing within the city of Halifax in conditions that undermined their independence and subjected them to more racism and discrimination. Despite policies of development, the site was ever only converted into Seaview municipal park – the location of an annual pilgrimage for organizations and descendants of the community.
The documentary contains original footage of the independent community of Africville and their painful experiences of relocation as well as protests and the campaign of redress that subsequently unfolded. It also draws upon archived materials including filmed video, photographs and testimony. In 2002, the site of Africville was designated as a National Historic Landmark. In 2011, the City of Halifax restored the name of Africville to the site. And in 2013, the Mayor of Halifax issued a public apology and established along with the Government of Canada the Africville Heritage Trust to rebuild the demolished Africville church. Part of the apology was a $4.5 million dollar compensation deal.
Today, Africville represents a symbol of African community organization in Canada and site honoring the ongoing struggle against systemic racism.
Sources and References
Website: Africville.ca — last accessed on November 16th 2014
Online Archive: CBC video of the Declaration of the National Park — last accessed on November 16th 2014
Website: Nova Scotia Archives site — last accessed on November 16th 2014
Website: City of Halifax apology (wiki) — last accessed on November 16th 2014
New Series featuring Important Research Reports: CAGS and SSHRC Graduate Student Professional Development Report (2012)
In this post, I wanted to promote a new series that we will be periodically expanding as the months go by and this is the external research reports series – i.e., a list of external research reports that we have found here at Integrating Horizons quite influential. The series page will be organized by different categories of subjects that we have also been featured on Integrating Horizons. These reports will not only feature exceptional research and peer reviewed content but also perspectives that can be helpful in reflecting and engaging in dialogue about our shared futures. We intend to feature a wide diversity of documentation ranging from video, art, and written text,
Pt. 1. Graduate Professional Development – External Research
The following report has been prepared for the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) in conjunction with The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). It is quite ground-breaking in a sense that it outlines a perspective on the kinds of interdisciplinary skills that you should have or will receive in completing your graduate studies. This report has been an immense value for reflecting on our own graduate student experiences. It has also prepared me personally for thinking about how I can shape to my own future.
Dr. Marilyn Rose, “Graduate Student Professional Development: A Survey with Recommendations”, prepared for the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) in conjunction with The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), (2012).
Professor Maria Subtelny Public Lecture: “Rules for Rulers: Political Ethics in Medieval Islam” on November 20th 2014
Dalhousie University, Mackay History Lecture Series, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The 2014 Mackay History Lecture series will feature on November 20th 2014 a public lecture by internationally renowned Professor Maria Subtelny (Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto). The lecture is entitled “Rules for Rulers: Political Ethics in Medieval Islam”. She will be speaking on the history and culture of medieval Iran and Islam. For more information about the lecture, please visit the Mackay History Lecture website.
Professor Subtelny received her PhD degree from Harvard University and has been teaching at the University of Toronto for well over 25 years.
Timurids in Transition: Turko-Persian Politics and Acculturation in Medieval Iran –Houshang Pourshariati Award
Le monde est un jardin: Aspects de l’histoire culturelle de l’Iran médiéval – Saidi-Sirjani Award
The Lecture will be held at the Kenneth C. Rowe Building, Room 1009, at 7:00pm, on November 20th 2014.
A list of previous Mackay History Lectures can be found here.
Thursday, October 2nd 2014, University of King’s College Lecture, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
As a featured presentation in the “New lecture series: Centuries of Dialogue: Asia and the West”, renowned international expert Professor Dhruv Raina spoke at the KTS Lecture Hall, University of King’s College, on the the entangled philosophical encounters of science between East and West. His lecture, entitled “Re-writing the history of science & philosophy in late colonial India”, explored the way the 20th century history of knowledge systems of South Asia were constructed as a positive science (chemistry and physiology) and an exact science (mechanics and optics) in the Anglophone tradition of Scientific Thought – a “powerful, normative and dominating” concept in the Western world as encapsulated in the master narratives of J.S. Mill and William Whenell.
The lecture focused on a cursory review of three works in the period of rising “national consciousness seeking to liberal itself” in history and philosophy of science in late colonialism India.
The History of Hindu Chemistry, by Praphulla Chandra Ray (1902), provided the “contemporary practicing anchor” in the construction of the history of science in South Asia. For Professor Raina, Ray’s works introduced the discussion of the Needham question in the Indian cultural context and contributed in the debates of “counter-factual history, under-determinationist and over-determinationist theories of history and debates on modernity and social theory” in India. Ray’s works focused on the question of the “decline of the sciences” or the “non-emergence of modern science” in India – showing why India was prone to speculation and metaphysical reflection that discouraged the development of modern chemistry. His book was seen as a classic in attempts to “cast off bad sciences so that a Descartes, Newton, could emerge in India”.
The Positive Background of Hindu Sociology (1937) and Hindu Achievements in Exact Science (1918) by Benoy Kumar Sarkar provided a narrative, in Professor Raina’s words, that reconstructed “the history of the sciences while responding to and contesting western representations of Indian knowledge systems working within the then current representation of the sciences.” Sarkar’s works gave an account of the “chronological links and logical affinities” between ancient and medieval India with the scientific investigations of Chinese and Greeks. He demonstrated that the history of science was in its important moments a “history of transmissions” or “epistemological correspondences” – demonstrating the “tendencies of the Oriental mind” were not “distinct” from the “Occidental mind”. The advanced discipline of pure mathematics in the India of late antiquity and Middle Ages, he argued, were in some regards distinct contributions in a dialogue with many entangled traditions that made up scientific thought – this asserted for Sarkar a “radical alterity” that “India’s indebtedness to foreign people’s body of knowledge [was] nil”. “Hindu intellect [had in some regard] independently appreciated fact, methods of experiments and developed the machinery of investigation and the external universe and its secrets” and made contributions in the broader exchange of ideas. Sarkar never predisposed however a Hindu “exceptionalism”; the positive was “an assemblage of scholarly experience and experiment, generalization and specialization” without Compte’s theory of stages. The Hindu mind’s predisposal to metaphysical and “non-practical” speculation was based on a “mal-observation” of Hindu life’s “ultra-asceticism” and “ultra-religiosity” as its “sole features” and the inaccurate representation of Hindu life’s idealism, mystical culture excluding its “secular, materialistic and objective side”. Sarkar would proclaim no Hindu essentialism – opting instead that the “proper appreciation of the achievements of sciences in India” required “the backdrop of the landmarks of the history of Western science”. “India is not one but many”.
The third and final work is The Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus, by Brajendranath Seal (1915). Along with Sarkar’s work, mentioned above, it confronts the “binary dichotomies of the history of sciences of the 19th century” and practice of “critical assimilation” of Western reception of scientific traditions. Both authors, contends Professor Dhruv, reject the portrayal of Hindu culture as “mystical and a blind eye […] to the analytical, logical and epistemological components of traditions in Indian philosophy”.