A leading academic on the history of emancipation, the British Empire, and the Caribbean is to lead the new MA Black British History programme at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Dr Christienna Fryar has been appointed Lecturer in Black British History and will be convenor of the MA programme that covers 500 years of Black British history and the people and ideas that shaped it.
Dr Fryar has been Lecturer in the History of Slavery and Unfree Labour at the University of Liverpool since 2017 and has previously taught in the US at SUNY Buffalo State. She has an MA and PhD in History from Princeton University.
Lecturer in Black British History is a permanent full-time position and the Department of History plans to recruit further members of staff to teach on the MA and in the subject area. The MA Black British History was originally scheduled to start this year but will now welcome applications from students to start in September 2020.
Dr John Price, Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of History, said: “The Department of History is absolutely committed to the exciting new MA in Black British History and to widening the fields of history that we teach at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels. Making sure we have everything properly in place for the start of the programme has been paramount and that included finding the right person to lead it.
“I am very pleased that Christienna will be joining Goldsmiths and we look forward to working with her to further develop the programme which focusses upon the understudied and often marginalised histories of Black Britons. Over the next year we will be recruiting additional staff and ensuring that we have the right resources and structures in place to deliver the best possible experience for staff and students.”
Dr Christienna Fryar said: “Black British History has for too long been systematically excluded from having a meaningful presence in university history departments. I’m excited to be joining the Goldsmiths history department and to lead the new MA in Black British History, one of a growing number of ongoing efforts around the country to establish the importance of Black Studies within UK universities. I especially look forward to welcoming the first cohort of MA students next year and beginning our collective work of insisting that the histories of Black British people are central to the discipline of history as a whole.”
While a small number of distance learning courses or wider black humanities programmes exist in other UK universities, the MA Black British History at Goldsmiths will be the first taught-postgraduate programme in Black British history. The College and the Department will be offering a number of fee waivers and bursaries linked to the MA programme, including a part-time fee-waiver for school teachers.
Students enrolled on the MA Black British History can elect to take a module from MA History or MA Queer History programmes, and students from those programmes have the option to study a Black British History module. Students also have the option to study a relevant module from outside the Department of History, such as those delivered on Goldsmiths’ unique MA Black British Writing (Department of Theatre and Performance and Department of English and Comparative Literature) or MA Race, Media and Social Justice (Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies and Department of Sociology).
Applicants can now apply for the start of the course in September 2020. Those candidates offered a place for this year will be given the option of starting in 2020.