York University Professor Carl James is one of five recipients of the 2022 Killam Prize. He was awarded with the honour for his research on identity, race, class, gender, immigration and creating more equitable societies.
The Canada Council for the Arts recently announced the winners of the 2022 Killam Prizes, a distinguished program recognizing the work of active researchers who devote their careers to pushing the boundaries of knowledge and finding solutions to the issue we face every day.
The Killam Prizes honour eminent Canadian researchers in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences and engineering. The work of these researchers has and continues to have an outstanding impact on the lives of Canadians and people around the world. A prize of $100,000 is awarded to each researcher.
James was recognized in the category of Social Sciences. He holds the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora in the Faculty of Education at York University and is the senior advisor on equity and representation in the Office of the Vice-President of Equity, People and Culture. He is a professor in the Faculty of Education and holds cross-appointments in the graduate programs in sociology, social and political thought, and social work. He is also served as affirmative action, equity and inclusivity officer (2006-20); was the director of the York Centre on Education & Community (2008-16) which he founded; and was director of the Graduate Program in Sociology (2007-08).
“We in the Faculty of Education are delighted for Carl, as he receives the Killam Prize. It is richly deserved,” said Faculty of Education Dean Robert Savage. “Carl’s sustained and genuinely groundbreaking work is both of the highest scholarly quality, and directly impactful in the wider community. His work drives our conceptions of diversity and of the methods needed to explore it. His impact through this work on more equitable outcomes continues to grow. Carl’s work as pure and applied scholar represents so much one might aspire to achieve as a leading 21st century intellectual in education. We are extraordinarily proud of him.”
James is widely recognized for his research contributions in the areas of intersectionality of race with ethnicity, gender, class and citizenship as they shape identification/identity; the ways in which accessible and equitable opportunities in education and employment account for the lived experiences of marginalized community members; and the complementary and contradictory nature of sports in the schooling and educational attainments of racialized students. In advocating on education for change, James documents the struggles, contradictions and paradoxes in the experiences of racialized students at all levels of the education system. In doing so, he seeks to address and move us beyond the essentialist, generalized and homogenizing discourses that account for the representation and achievements of racialized people – particularly Black Canadians – in educational institutions, workplaces, and society generally.
He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada – Academy of Social Sciences (2012), and his work and leadership in equity and social justice is also demonstrated in the number of distinguished visiting lecturer positions he has held in universities in Canada, Australia and Sweden.
His contributions to social equity and anti-racism education have been recognized through his many awards – including the Outstanding Contribution Award, Canadian Sociological Association (CSA, 2020), Research Leadership, York University; and an honorary doctorate (2006) from Uppsala University, Sweden, where he was a visiting course director from 1997-2013 in the Teacher Training Department.
Read more about James’ work and achievements on his faculty profile page.