University of King’s College (Halifax, Nova Scotia) joins Universities Studying Slavery.

Universities Studying Slavery (USS) continues to grow. We are excited to announce that University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has joined, marking the fourth non-U.S. institution to participate in the consortium. The group has grown to thirty-eight member institutions in a short time.

Established in 1789, the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is Canada’s oldest chartered university. A small and extraordinarily lively academic community, the University of King’s College is known nationally and internationally for its highly acclaimed interdisciplinary programs in the humanities and journalism.

King’s recently announced the establishment of a scholarly inquiry to examine the possible connections, direct and indirect, of the university with slavery in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The comprehensive project, King’s & Slavery: A Scholarly Inquiry, will comprise original, independent research by leading Canadian and U.S. scholars and is expected to be completed in early 2019.

“Given that slavery existed in Nova Scotia until 1834, we want to understand our early story fully and in all its complexity,” says President and Vice-Chancellor, William Lahey.

The University of King’s College was founded by Loyalists, many from New York, fleeing the United States during the American Revolution. For the past several decades, King’s has identified itself to be the successor of King’s College in New York City, itself re-established after the war as Columbia University. Part of the work now being commissioned by the University of King’s College will look at the nature and extent of connections between itself and the original King’s College in NYC and, by extension, to the latter institution’s connections with slavery.

The scholarly inquiry will also examine:

Indirect links King’s may have had with slavery Nova Scotia, including ways the college may have benefitted from an economy and society that depended on slavery in other places, including the Caribbean, and
Direct King’s connections with individuals (including patrons, funders, board members, faculty, staff, students or alumni) who were directly involved with or benefitted from slavery, or who held opinions on slavery.”

Please welcome University of King’s College to the growing Universities Studying Slavery movement.