Moody-Hamilton Lectures in Atlantic History

This lecture series was established in 2013 to recognize Dr. Barry Moody’s service to the Department of History and Classics and to Acadia University. The lecture series is supported by donations from colleagues, alumni and friends and endowed in 2014 through an estate gift of William and Marian (Banks) Hamilton. The Moody-Hamilton Lectures, offered biennially at Acadia University, are given by distinguished or popular scholars in the history of the Atlantic world. The lectures are open to the public with free admission and are announced and promoted by the Department of History and Classics.

Dr. Moody graduated from Acadia with a BA History in 1967 and completed his MA and PhD at Queen’s University. He returned to teach at Acadia in 1970, where he served as Department Head and Acting Dean, and finally Professor Emeritus. Dr. Moody is the author of many publications on aspects of Nova Scotia history including, most recently, A History of Annapolis Royal: A Town With a Memory, Volume Two: 1749-2005.   

Dr. William B. Hamilton earned three degrees from Acadia (BA 1949, BEd 1950, MA History 1953) and a PhD from University of Western Ontario. His academic appointments include University of Western Ontario and Mount Allison University where he was Professor Emeritus following his retirement in 1995. He wrote many books on Atlantic History including The Nova Scotia Traveler and Place Names of Atlantic Canada. Marian Banks earned her BA English from Acadia in 1955 and a BEd from Mount Allison in 1956. A teacher and social worker, she became an artist and volunteer in retirement. 

2019 Moody-Hamilton Lecture in Atlantic History

The Department of History and Classics is delighted to host Dr. Charmaine A. Nelson, Professor of Art History at McGill University, for the 2019 Moody-Hamilton Lecture in Atlantic World History. Dr. Nelson’s talk is titled: “’he…had meditated an attempt to get on board a ship…bound to Newfoundland’: The Limits of the Term ‘Refugee’ for Enslaved Africans in Canadian Fugitive Slave Advertisements.” (abstract below)

This event also celebrates African Heritage Month and will begin at 7 p.m. in BAC 244 on Monday, February 4th. All are welcome.

Paper abstract: For decades the term refugee have been pervasively and uncritically used to describe the northward transit of enslaved African Americans out of bondage in the Unites States and into freedom in what was to become Canada. Enshrined in part through the popularity of publications like Benjamin Drew’s The Refugee: Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada (1856), the term does not fully encompass the complexity of a transatlantic context in which slave holding and free states, often held by competing empires, shared borders. In such a world, while crossing a border could often mean the attainment of an instant but precarious freedom, it frequently did not entail the promise of welcome as asylum or refuge from the new state. This paper challenges the pervasive use of the term refugee in the context of the Underground Railroad and instead, through a close analysis of Canadian fugitive slave advertisements, asks if fugitive slaves fleeing from Canadian slave owners were refugees or people who desired to attain such a status. In slave minority communities where the enslaved suffered under heightened surveillance, what was their capacity to achieve independent mobility, state-sanctioned asylum, and a legal re-designation as free people?