Cambridge University has announced it will establish a fellowship dedicated to examining its historical links to slavery. The three-year Fellowship of Cambridge and Slavery, funded by the Cambridge Trust, will be part of the university’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH).
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The fellowship is designed “to research, recognise and reflect upon how people associated with Cambridge University were involved in the slave trade.” It is open to scholars from any discipline who wish to examine this history with sensitivity, independence and clarity.
This announcement comes as numerous European universities begin confronting their ties to slavery. In particular, institutions such as Oxford University have commissioned independent reviews into the extent of their involvement in the slave trade.
The Cambridge fellowship will likely be an important part of this effort to understand how academia has been implicated in slavery fully. Furthermore, it offers a chance for scholars to study and better comprehend this difficult period of history in greater depth.
In addition to conducting research, the Fellowship of Cambridge and Slavery will also create resources to facilitate teaching and public engagement with these issues. Perhaps most significantly, it will initiate conversations about reparation, restitution and recognition of historical ties between universities and slavery.
As such, this fellowship is a significant opportunity for scholars and a vital step towards understanding Europe’s dark past regarding colonialism and slavery. Through its research and public engagement, the Fellowship of Cambridge and Slavery will play an important role in this process.
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