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Legacies Denied: Unearthing the Visual Culture of Canadian Slavery


Extensively illustrated, this exhibition catalogue emerged from a fourth year undergraduate, Art History course, Canadian Slavery and its Legacies: a Curatorial Seminar, taught in 2013 by Prof. Charmaine A. Nelson at McGill University, Montreal. Working with the holdings of the Rare Books and Special Collections Library, the students curated an exhibition, assembling a variety of extraordinary art and visual culture objects of direct relevance to Transatlantic Slavery. Like the course, the catalogue and exhibition contest the erasure of Canadian participation in the histories of Transatlantic Slavery, instead highlighting the role of Canadian art and visual culture in producing, sustaining and resisting the enslavement of people of African descent and Natives in the territories that became Canada.

Congratulations to you and your students on the show! It is really inspiring in terms of both pedagogy and research.
– Shelley Butler, CEREV, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

It seems to me that it is only in recent years that this unfortunate part of Canadian history is being studied.
– Leah Cohen, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Your impressive book arrived safely…Congratulations to you and your students.
– Philip L. Hartling, Nova Scotia Archives, Halifax, Canada

A splendid piece of work. Congratulations to your students for the effort they put into this, and to you for creating this unique opportunity.
– Nele Sawallisch, PhD Candidate, Germany

I had no idea the breadth of the work you had done with the students. This is an important reference work in addition to being a reification of the work your students have done, and a tribute to your dedicated and inspired teaching. It’s such an important contribution to the field!
– Karolyn Smardz Frost, Senior Research Fellow for African Canadian History, Harriet Tubman Institute, York University & Canadian Bicentennial Visiting Fellow and Lecturer, Yale University (2012-13)

Thank you for this marvelous document. I hope that it will receive wide readership throughout Canada. I hope that distribution reaches foreign shores as well.
– Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, Professor Emeritus Africology, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, USA

[Legacies Denied] is indeed and impressive gathering of research and imagery. We are happy to be able to add this volume to the library’s collection for the benefit of our readers.
– Jonathan Franklin, Chief, Library, Archives and Fellowships Program, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Cite this book: Charmaine A. Nelson, ed., Legacies Denied: Unearthing the Visual Culture of Canadian Slavery (Montreal: Printed for author by McGill Copy Service, 2013)