Annual Avie Bennett Historica Lecture considers ‘difficult histories’ through time

Pocket watches banner representing time, history

Returning to York University on Jan. 18, the annual Avie Bennett Historica Lecture will examine “difficult histories in difficult times” with visiting historian Barrington Walker.

Barrington Walker for Avie Bennett Historica Lecture
Barrington Walker

The Avie Bennett Historica Chair was established at York University in 2004 by the Historica Foundation of Canada, endowed by York Chancellor Emeritus Avie Bennett. Its purpose is to promote the study of Canada’s heritage and ensure the academic vitality of the discipline. Each year, an esteemed lecturer is invited to share their research with historians, students, faculty and the public at large.

Walker is a professor of history and serves as associate vice president, equity, diversity and inclusion, at Wilfrid Laurier University. He will deliver this year’s Avie Bennett Historica Canada public lecture which takes place virtually from 3 to 5 p.m.

“Writing Difficult Histories in Difficult Times” will consider how members of the historical community should respond to the demands for social justice and inclusion being placed on a profession.

A historian of modern Canada, Walker’s work focuses on the histories of Black Canada, race, immigration and the law. His extensive research explores and highlights the contours of modern Canada’s emergence as racial state through its histories of white supremacy, slavery, colonization, immigration, segregation and Jim Crowism.

Walker has published three books: Race On Trial: Black Defendants in Ontario’s Criminal Courts, 1858-1958 (University of Toronto Press and the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2010); The African Canadian Legal Odyssey: Historical Essays (University of Toronto Press and the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, 2012) and The History of Immigration and Racism in Canada: Essential Readings (Canadian Scholars Press, 2008). He is also currently working on two book projects: Colonizing Nation: A History of Colonization, Settlement and Canada’s Racial State and Dark Peril: Blacks and Violence in Canada’s Urban Landscapes (Wilfrid Laurier University Press). In 2012, Race on Trial was shortlisted for the Ontario Speaker’s Book Prize.

Click here to register for the Avie Bennett Historica Lecture.