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Charmaine Nelson

Charmaine Nelson

Charmaine Nelson received her PhD in Art History from the University of Manchester, UK in 2001. Her research and teaching interests include postcolonial and black feminist scholarship, critical (race) theory, Trans Atlantic Slavery Studies and Black Diaspora Studies. Her work examines Canadian, American, European and Caribbean art and visual culture. She has made ground-breaking contributions to the fields of the Visual Culture of Slavery, Race and Representation and Black Canadian Studies.
 Ebony Roots Northern Soil
Nelson has published four books including the co-edited volume (with Camille Nelson) Racism Eh?: A Critical Inter-Disciplinary Anthology of Race and Racism in Canada (Concord, Ontario: Captus Press, 2004), the edited volume Ebony Roots, Northern Soil: Perspectives on Blackness in Canada (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010) and two single-authored books The Color of Stone: Sculpting the Black Female Subject in Nineteenth-Century America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007) and Representing the Black Female Subject in Western Art (New York: Routledge, 2010).
 
            Nelson has authored several book chapters, journal articles and other publications on various subjects. She has held several prestigious fellowships and appointments including a Caird Senior Research Fellowship, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK (2007), a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair, University of California – Santa Barbara (2010) and a Visiting Professorship at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Department of Africology (2011). She was awarded a Woman of Distinction Award from the Montreal’s Women’s YWCA in 2012 (Arts and Culture Category) and was an honoree at McGill University’s Celebration of Research Excellence, Bravo 2013.
 
            Her most recent Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada funded research project explores nineteenth-century landscapes of Montreal and Jamaica as products of colonial discourse and imperial geography. She has already published a lengthy book chapter with some of her research findings: “Sugar Cane, Slaves and Ships: Colonialism, Geography and Power in Nineteenth-Century Landscapes of Montreal and Jamaica” ed. Ana Lucia Araujo Living History: Encountering the Memory of the Heirs of Slavery (New Castle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishers, 2009).  Her fifth book on this topic is forthcoming with Ashgate Press, UK in 2014. Her sixth book, with McGill-Queen’s Press, will combine a focus on the representation of black people in Canadian art with an examination of art by black Canadian artists.


Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Canadian Art
  • 19th Century American & European Art
  • Critical Theory
  • Post-Colonial & Post-Colonial Feminist Theory
  • Visual Culture of Slavery
  • Historical & Contemporary Popular Culture
  • Neoclassical Sculpture
  • British Imperialism and Landscape Art

Selected Publications

Books

Ebony Roots, Northern Soil: Perspectives on Blackness in Canada (UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010).

Representing the Black Female Subject in Western Art (New York: Routledge in 2010).

The Color of Stone: Sculpting the Black Female Subject in Nineteenth-Century America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007).

Racism Eh?: A Critical Inter-Disciplinary Anthology of Race in the Canadian Context (Concord: Captus Press/Captus University, Publications, 2004) *co-edited with Camille Nelson.

Book Chapters

"Edmonia Lewis' Death of Cleopatra: White Marble, Black Bodies and Racial Crisis in America"eds. Professor Janice Helland and Professor Deborah Cherry Local/Global: Women Artists in the Nineteenth-Century (London: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2006).

"The 'Hottentot Venus' in Canada: Modernism, Censorship and the Racial Limits of Female Sexuality" eds. Camille Nelson and Charmaine Nelson Racism Eh?: A Critical Inter-Disciplinary Anthology of Race in the Canadian Context (Concord: Captus Press/Captus University, Publications, 2004).

"Buried in a Watery Grave: Trauma, Commemoration and Memorialization of the Middle Passage" eds. Michelle Goodwin, Sandra Jackson Fassil Demisse The Black Body: Imagining, Writing, and (Re)reading (University of South Africa Press, 2008).

"Blacks in White Marble: Interracial Female Subjects in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Neoclassicism" eds. Dr. Regina E. Spellers and D. Kimberly R. Moffitt Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities (Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press, Inc., 2009).

Periodical/Journal Articles

"The Fruits of Resistance: Reading Portrait of a Negro Slave on the Sly" Public Eating Things (Special Issue), 30:13-23, 2004, pp. 13-24.

"Hiram Powers' America: Shackles, Slaves and the Racial Limits of Nineteenth-Century National Identity" Canadian Review of American Studies vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 167-183 (2004).

"Slavery, Portraiture and the Colonial Limits of Canadian Art," Canadian Woman Studies/les cahier de la femme Women and the Black Diaspora - Winter 2004, vol. 23, Number 2, pp. 22-29.

"White Marble, Black Bodies and the Fear of the Invisible Negro: Signifying Blackness in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Neoclassical Sculpture" Revue d'art canadienne/Canadian Art Review (RACAR) XXVII, 1-2, 2000, pp. 87-101. (2004 - backdated).

Exhibition Catalogues and Essays

"Venuse africaine: Race, Beauty and African-ness" ed. Jan Marsh Black Victorians: Black People in British Art 1800-1900 (London, UK, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2006).

"Black Hair/Her-Stories: Joscelyn Gardner's Inverted Portraits" ed. Joscelyn Gardner White Skin, Black Kin: 'Speaking the Unspeakable' (The Barbados Museum and Historical Society, St. Ann's Garrison, St. Michael, Barbados, 2004).

Through An-Other's Eyes: White Canadian Artists - Black Female Subjects (Oshawa: Robert McLaughlin Gallery, 1999).

Events

Legacies Denied: Unearthing the Visual Culture of Canadian Slavery
Vernissage: May 22nd, 2013
Exhibition: May 22nd - July 31st

Professor Nelson with incoming Undergraduate Students.

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