Tubman Member Photos and Biographies

Olufunke Adeboye_PHOTOOlufunke Adeboye is a Professor of African history and also the head of the Department of History and Strategic Studies, University of Lagos, Nigeria. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Harriet Tubman Centre in the Fall of 2006. Her research interests include: nineteenth century Yoruba history and society, gender studies and elite studies in Nigeria, and Pentecostalism in West Africa.

Ned Alpers_PHOTOEdward A. Alpers is Research Professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has taught at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (1966-1968), and the Somali National University, Lafoole (1980). In 1994 he served as President of the African Studies Association. His major publications include Ivory and Slaves in East Central Africa (1975); East Africa and the Indian Ocean (2009); and The Indian Ocean in World History (2014).

Marcia Annisette_PHOTO (240x300)Dr. Marcia Annisette is Associate Professor of Accounting and the Program Director of the Master of Accounting at the Schulich School of Business. She holds a PhD in accounting from the University of Manchester and is a Fellow Certified Chartered Accountant of the UK. Her major research interest is in the social organization of the accountancy profession. She is best known for her seminal work on the development and international diffusion of professional accountancy in the context of British imperialism. She is the editor of Critical Perspectives in Accounting and sits on the editorial boards of 11 other accounting journals. She has previously held academic appointments at universities in England, the USA, Spain, and her home country, Trinidad & Tobago.

Honorable Jean Augustine_PHOTOHon. Jean Augustine, PC, CM, CBE was appointed as Fairness Commissioner for the Province of Ontario in 2007. Ms. Augustine was born in Grenada and came to Canada in 1960. In 1993, she became the first African-Canadian woman elected to the House of Commons, where she served four terms and was Minister of State. The Office of the Fairness Commissioner is an arms-length agency of the Ontario government. Its mandate is to ensure that certain regulated professions and trades have registration practices that are transparent, objective impartial and fair.

Manuel Barcia Paz_PHOTOManuel Barcia is a Professor of Latin American History at the University of Leeds. He’s the author of three books and several articles on the history of slavery in Cuba and Brazil. His most recent book, West African Warfare in Bahia and Cuba: Soldier Slaves in the Atlantic World, 1807-1844, was published in 2014 by Oxford University Press.

Juanita De BarrosJuanita De Barros
is an associate professor in the Department of History at McMaster University and the former president of the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Her research concentrates on the 19th and 20th century Caribbean, with a focus on the social history of health and urban history. Her publications include Order and Place in a Colonial City: Patterns of Struggle and Resistance in Georgetown, British Guiana, 1889-1924 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002); Health and Medicine in the Caribbean: Historical Perspectives, 1800-1968 (co-edited with David Wright and Steven Palmer) (Routledge, 2009); Beyond Fragmentation: Perspectives on Caribbean History (co-edited with Audra Diptee and David Trotman) (Marcus Weiner Publishers, 2006); and numerous journal articles. Her most recent publication is Reproducing the British Caribbean: Sex, Gender, and Population Politics after Slavery (UNC, 2014).

Kassahum Checole_PHOTOKassahun Checole, founder and president of Africa World Press and The Red Sea Press is currently based in New Jersey. As author, editor, public intellectual and long-term publisher, Mr. Checole has been at the forefront of Pan-African research for over 40 years, overseeing the production of over 2000 academic books on every area of social change on the continent and throughout the Diaspora. An adviser to countless governments and institutes, and inductee of the International Literary Hall of Fame, Mr. Checole remains an independent scholar focusing on decolonization, linguistics, and peace.”

Francesca D’Amico is a PhD Candidate in the Department of HistoFrancesca d'Amico_PHOTOry. Her research explores the relationship between 20th century Black American liberation movements (Civil Rights and Black Power) and afro-diasporic genres of urban music.  She is also interested in bridging the gap between community, the media and academia; she has worked extensively with Toronto’s Hip Hop community to curate, archive and render public Canada’s Hip Hop history, as is currently working as a producer and researcher on a documentary (Coloring Book) about the history of mixed race identity and interracial marriage in the United States and Canada. An advocate of arts education, she is also the creator of ‘Learning Through Hip Hop’; an arts-based workshop that remixes the Ontario elementary school curriculum subjects of history, math, science and language through the lens and resources of Hip Hop culture for youth between the ages of 12-18 years old

Audra A. Diptee is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Carleton University. She is also the Managing Director of theAudra Diptee_PHOTO Canadian not-for-profit the History Watch Project http://historywatchproject.com/ which puts activist scholars in conversation with policy makers and practitioners. Dr. Diptee’s research interests are quite varied and cover common themes in both the Caribbean and Africa. She has published on a variety of subjects including childhood in the Global South, gender, memory, slavery, and race relations. Her website is www.audradiptee.com

Karolyn Smardz Frost is the Senior Research Fellow for African Canadian History at the Harriet Tubman Institute, and the Harrison McCain Visiting Professor at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. She iskarolyn-smardz-frost an archaeologist, historian and award-winning author.  In 2010 Karolyn received York’s Ian Green Award for Teaching Excellence and was a finalist for TVO’s Best Lecturer competition. She was invited to Yale University as the Canadian Bicentennial Visiting Professor (2012-2013). Her volume, I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad (2007), was the first book on African Canadian history to win the Governor-General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction.   Karolyn’s personal website is: www.homeingloryland.com

DavidGeggus PhotDavid Geggus is Professor of History at the University of Florida, Gainesville where he teaches courses on Caribbean history and slavery in the Atlantic world.  His research has focused on Saint Domingue and the Haitian Revolution.  He has published six books, including Slavery, War, and Revolution (1982), Haitian Revolutionary Studies (2002), and The Haitian Revolution: A Documentary History (2014), as well as more than one hundred academic articles.

Chouki ConfChouki El Hamel received his doctorate from the University of Sorbonne (Paris, France). His training in France at the Centre de Recherches Africaines was in pre-colonial African History and Islamic studies. His research interests focus on the spread and the growth of Islamic culture and the evolution of Islamic institutions in Africa.  What interests him most as a scholar is the culture of silence. He is particularly interested in investigating the subaltern relationship of servile and marginalized communities to ruling institutions, power, race, class and gender politics within Islamic culture.  He taught courses in African History and Islamic societies at North Carolina State University in Raleigh and at Duke University from 1994 to 2001. In 2001-2002, he was a scholar in residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, and in 2002, he joined the History Department at Arizona State University in Tempe.  He published two major books and many scholarly articles in academic journals and popular magazines. His most recent book is Black Morocco: a History of Slavery, Race, and Islam (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Charlotte Henay is a mother, teacher, writer, storyteller and researcher of Black Seminole and Charlotte Henay_PHOTOmultiracial ancestry. She works to counter extinction myths through story work and lyric scholarship, Indigenous methodologies, and remembering. Charlotte writes about cultural memory and grandmothers’ gardens as an activist for (de) colonial, Indigenous, and Afro-futurities. She has a background in critical race theory, education administration, and teaching. She has been an administrator and consultant in First Nations, mainstream and international education contexts. Charlotte is currently a PhD student at York University in Language, Culture and Teaching.

Gad Heuman is Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at the University of Warwick.  He is the author of Between Black and White (1981), The Killing Time (1994), Gad Heumanand The Caribbean: A Brief History (2006; 2nd ed, 2013). He has also edited or co-edited several books, including The Slavery Reader (2003), Contesting Freedom (2005), The Routledge History of Slavery (2011) and Slavery (2014).  He is the editor of the journal, Slavery & Abolition.


Abhar Rukh Husain is a PhD candidate in the Gender, Feminist and Women`s Studies Program at York University. Her PhD research focuses on Bangladeshi female temporary workers’ experience with migration-brokers and their employers’ in the Middle East. Her general interests are on transnational feminism, migration and trafficking, methodologies in social research.

Christopher Innes_PhotoChristopher Innes is a Distinguished Research Professor at York University, Toronto; and Research Professor at Copenhagen University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and of the Royal Society of Arts (UK). Also, a Killam Fellow, since 2002 he has held the Canada Research Chair in Performance and Culture, he has just been appointed to a York Research Chair (starting 2016).

He has also held Visiting Professorships or Fellowships at Corpus Christi and St. John’s Colleges, Cambridge; at Newcastle University, Australia, as well as Ohtani University, Japan, and the Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Germany.

Author of fifteen books – translated into eight different languages – and over 130 articles on various aspects of modern drama, he is General Editor of the Cambridge “Directors in Perspective” series, Co-Editor “Lives of the Theatre” series, Contributing Editor to The Cambridge Guide to World Theatre, and has been Co-Editor of the quarterly journal Modern Drama. His most recent books are Carnival: Theory and Practice (edited together with Brigitte Bogar, 2012), and The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Directing (2013). He is currently working on a study of the Canadian opera composer, R. Murray Schafer, for McGill/Queens University Press.

Having presented papers at over 150 conferences, he has developed a new form of public presentation together with a singer, Brigitte Bogar. They have performed at invited lectures in the US, UK, Sweden and Denmark, as well as presenting plenaries at various international conferences. They appeared in a reading/recital at Ayot St Lawrence, for the June 2013 International Shaw Society conference, have since then delivered two invited public lectures for the University of Toronto, as well as three plenary presentations for the Comparative Drama Conference in Baltimore, and have been invited to give the Keynote presentation at NEMLA in 2015.

A long-time member of the English Department, he teaches in the Communication & Culture Program, and has taught in Theatre Studies. Founding director of the MA Program in Interdisciplinary Studies, he is also responsible for founding the Graduate Program in Theatre Studies together with Professor Don Rubin.

Frank Luce_PHOTOFrank Luce is a researcher with the Tubman Institute’s ‘Luso-African Group’ with a focus on the relation between United Church of Canada missionaries and the independence movement in central Angola. Frank worked as a labor lawyer with the Canadian Trade Union movement, and did graduate work on rural labor in Angola (LLM) and Bahia, Brazil (PhD).

Photo Andrew Medovarski JPEGDr. Andrea Medovarski teaches in the departments of Humanities and English, and in York’s Transition Year Program. An interdisciplinary scholar, her research focuses on situating Canada within the context of the Americas and exploring histories and representations of transatlantic slavery and colonization. Her published work examines black diasporic cultural productions with a particular focus on black Canadian literature and film. Her current research projects examine the second-generation children of immigrants in black Canadian and black British women’s writing, and an exploration of cultural representations of the Middle Passage. She serves on editorial boards of the journal Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de lafemme, and Inanna Publications, a feminist press

Dr. Jennifer Mills is currently a postdoctoral researcher and an Associate of The Harriet Tubman Institute For Research on Africa and its Diasporas.  She completed her PhD in the Department of Jennifer MillsSociology at York University in October 2013.  Dr. Mills has published in a peer-reviewed journal, her most recent article, Conferencing as a Site for the Mobilization of Black Feminist Identities in the Congress of black Women of Canada 1973-1983, was released in the Journal of Black Studies, April 2015 issue.

Ismael M. Montana is an Associate Professor at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Montana received his Ph.D in African History from York University in 2007. Prior to joining Northern Illinois University, he Ismael Montana_PHOTO taught as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Trent University in Canada (2006-07). In 2008-09, Dr. Montana was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study), Berlin, Germany. His research focus combines his interests in both social and economic history of slavery in Northwest Africa, with emphasis on Ottoman-Tunisia. Author of The Abolition of Slavery in Ottoman Tunisia, Gaineville: University Press of Florida, 2013, he is also a co-editor of Islam, Slavery and Diaspora (with Behnaz A. Mirzai and Paul E. Lovejoy), Africa World Press, Trenton: N.J., 2009

Esteve Morera is an Associate Professor in the Esteve Morera_BIODepartments of Philosophy and Political Science. His interests are in research and teaching Gramsci, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of History, and African Philosophy.  His recent publications are “Gramsci, Materialism and Philosophy (Rutledge 2014)”.

Deborah Neill is an historian of European colonial expansion in Africa in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s, focusing on race, power, and transnational connections in business, medical, and Deborah Neill_PHOTOhumanitarian causes. Her book Networks in Tropical Medicine: Internationalism, Colonialism, and the Rise of a Medical Specialty 1890-1930 (Stanford University Press, 2012) explores how European scientists shared and disseminated research across borders, and in doing so, developed a common professional identity that reflected a shared sense of scientific and racial superiority. Their collective power allowed them to exert considerable influence on the formation of specific colonial medical policies in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly against human trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), and the book also explores how some of these policies, including control, containment and experimentation, negatively affected African patients.

She has also published articles on the connections between colonial expansion in Africa and the rising interest in nutrition and food in Western Europe in the early twentieth century. Her current project explores transnational merchants and humanitarians who furthered the development of trade, European intervention in West Africa, and monopoly capitalism before 1914. A major focus of this project is the Liverpool-based merchant company John Holt & Co., a company active in British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German colonies from the 1860s through the First World War.

Dr. Obiora Chinedu Okafor is a Full Professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, Toronto, Canada, and the inaugural Tier 1 York Research Chair in International and Transnational Legal Studies. He is also Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. He holds a PhD and an LL.M from the University of British Columbia, and an LL.M and LL.B from the University of Nigeria. 




Vanessa S. Oliveira is a PhD Candidate in History at York University. Her dissertation, “The Donas of Luanda, c. 1773-1870: From Atlantic Slave Trading to ‘Legitimate Commerce,’” focuses on the Portuguese Colony of Angola. She has published articles in the History in Africa, Portuguese Studies Review, Revista Vestígios, and Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico de Sergipe as well as book chapters in edited volumes in Brazil and Portugal. Her fields of interest are enslavement, ethnicity, identities, gender, and women in historical perspective. She has undertaken extensive research in Brazil, Angola and Portugal. 




Guylaine Pétrin, BA MLS, is a bilingual librarian at Glendon College at York University. She is also a genealogist and historical researcher, specializing in Upper Canada.  Her current research concerns the Black community of Toronto before 1850. She has presented papers on the wives of the Colored Corps in the past, and her article about the life of Elizabeth Sanders was published in the Spring 2013 edition of Ontario History.




Bryan Prince is a historian of the black presence in Canada. He has served on many committees that preserve and promote Bryan Prince_PHOTOthe story and is the author of many works on the subject, including the books I Came As A Stranger: The Underground Railroad; A Shadow On The Household; One More River to Cross and My Brother’s Keeper: African Canadians and the American Civil War; Co-writer of the script of the television documentary: A Thousand Miles to Freedom; a co-producer of the concert series Road to Freedom and historical consultant on the PBS/Rogers television film Underground Railroad:  The William Still Story.  Bryan and his wife, Shannon, are the winners of the 2011 Underground Railroad Free Press award for the Advancement of Knowledge


Emmanuel Saboro Ph.D Teaches African Literature, Oral History, African-American Literature and Slavery Studies at the Department of English, University of Cape Coast Ghana.IMG_0684



Francine Saillant is Professor of Anthropology at Université Laval and Director of the Centre de recherche Cultures-Arts-Sociétés (CÉLAT). She was Editor of the journal Anthropologie et societies, President of the Canadian Anthropology Society in 2008 and President of the ACFAS Congress in 2013. She is notably the author of Le mouvement noir au Brésil (2000-2010). Réparations, droits et citoyenneté (PUL/Éditions Académia, 2014) and co-edited the book Afrodescendances, cultures et citoyenneté (PUL, 2012) and the book The Lausanne Manifesto. For a Non-Hegemonic Anthropology (Liber, 2011). She directed four films about the Black Brazilian Movement (2000-2010), in close collaboration with Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, Jacques D’Adesky, Ialorixa Torody D’Ogum and Pedro Simonard, all edited in a DVD box entitled Resistência.

Mohammed Bashir Salau_PHOTOMohammed Bashir Salau joined the history faculty at University of Mississippi in 2006 as Assistant Professor and was promoted to an associate professorship in 2012. His research interests include: Islam, slavery and European imperialism. Salau’s primary research focuses on historical developments in West Africa. He is the author of The West African Slave Plantation: A Case Study.

Alberto da Costa e Silva_PHOTO


Alberto da Costa e Silva (São Paulo, 1931) was ambassador in Nigeria, Portugal, Colombia and Paraguay.  Doctor honoris causa by Obafemi Awolowo University (Ife, Nigeria), Universidade Federal Fluminense and Universidade Federal da Bahia (Brazil). His books include A enxada e a lança: a África antes dos portugueses (1996), A manilha e o libambo: a África e a escravidão, de 1500 a 1700 (2002), Um rio chamado Atlântico: a África no Brasil e o Brasil na África (2003), Francisco Félix de Souza, mercador de escravos (2004) e Imagens da África (2012)

Estevam Thompson_PHOTOEstevam C. Thompson is Assistant Professor of African History at the Universidade de Brasília, Brazil. He is currently doing his PhD at York University on the Social History of the slave trade in Angola in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.