Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Home » Tubman Talks

Tubman Talks

The HTI offers an intellectual space that fosters debate among all York scholars whose research interest focuses on the history and contemporary experience of Africans and people of African descent in Canada and globally. It gives individual researchers as well as research teams a platform for exchange. Therefore, the Institute is an intellectual space that offers an opportunity for individual scholars to critically strengthen their own research by presenting it to others in the spirit of engaging in debate. The Tubman talk series serve the above purpose.

Virtual Tubman Talks are held on Zoom. Please message to request the meeting information.

Visit our Youtube channel to watch the recorded Tubman Talks.

Tii Nchofoung will be presenting his research as a Visiting Scholar at the Harriet Tubman Institute.

Watch the Talk on our Youtube channel here.

Tii Nchofoung holds a Master’s of Science in Mathematical Economics from the University of Dschang, Cameroon. He also holds a Diploma in Administration from the National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM), Cameroon. He works as an Administrator with the Ministry of Trade, Cameroon, at the same time, a doctoral candidate in Economics at the University of Dschang. He is also a visiting scholar with the Association of Promoting Women in Research and Development (ASPROWADA), Cameroon. His research works have been published in international peer-reviewed journals among others: Resources PolicyInternational Economic JournalForeign Trade ReviewTelecommunications Policy, and International Economics, just to name a few. His research interests are in the fields of international economics, inclusive and sustainable development.

Tka Pinnock is a Research Associate at the Harriet Tubman Institute. She will be presenting her MITACS fellowship research which focused on the needs of Black PSE students.

Tka C. Pinnock is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics at York University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of feminist political economy, political ecology, globalization and critical development studies where she explores the everyday politics of life work. Her dissertation project explores the constructions of indigeneity among African-descended marginalized workers as a political-economic response to the conditions of economic development, using the tourism sector in Jamaica as a case study. Pinnock’s community work also gives rise to an interest in diaspora studies and community-based research.

Read more here:

Watch the recording on our Youtube Channel here.

[Re]imagining A Gendered History of Zimbabwe

Presenter: Ruth Murambadoro

Affiliation: Centre for Feminist Research and Harriet Tubman Institute, York University, Canada

Abstract: Zimbabwe’s political trajectory over the past four decades has been ravaged by ruptures of violence with grave consequences for women. Political figures involved in efforts to resolve the conflict are mostly men, and their deliberations have shaped the political landscape as a men’s field. Equally, writings on Zimbabwe’s violent history have silenced women’s voices and participation in the political project, an error that erases the traumas embodied by this constituency. In [re]imagining the gendered history of Zimbabwe, this paper posits the question: How do Zimbabwean women through social movements identify, relate, and imagine their being as survivors in a repressive state? Working closely with women movements in Zimbabwe to curate their histories, the paper draws on research-creation approaches by combining qualitative methods and artistic expressions to depict women’s embodied realities and forge their experiences of being and becoming. Treating women’s movements as sites of resistance to hegemonic masculinities and spaces for [re]engaging with contested memories, the paper offers an intersectional analysis of the multidimensional forms of trauma embodied by women in Zimbabwe and avenues available to them to [re]create the envisaged peaceful society.

Bio: Ruth Murambadoro is an African feminist who writes on women, transitional justice, gender justice and politics of the Global South. Her notable writings include a single authored monograph Transitional Justice in Africa: The Case of Zimbabwe, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2020. As a recipient of the 2021 Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowship for Black and Indigenous Scholars at York University, her work is exploring the gendered nature of the post-colonial state to broaden understandings of violence perpetrated against women– a constituency that remains marginalized by political concessions that undermine their socio-political agency in Zimbabwe. Over the next 5-10 years Ruth endeavors to develop artistic creations working closely with emerging and seasoned creative African artists to broaden her current project on a digital repository (re)presenting African women’s stories.

Twitter handle: @WaZvogo

This Tubman Talk will be held in the Resource Centre at 314 York Lanes at 2:30pm.

Timothy Walker is a professor of history at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He will be presenting On his new book, Sailing to Freedom:  Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad (UMASS Press, 2021).

Timothy Walker is a professor of history at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He will be presenting On his new book, Sailing to Freedom:  Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad (UMASS Press, 2021).

Abstract: Underground Railroad scholarship has focused almost exclusively on interior overland routes used to escape enslavement in the Antebellum South. Largely overlooked, however, is the great multitude of enslaved persons who made their way to freedom aboard merchant vessels plying coastal routes along the Atlantic seaboard. This crucial but neglected aspect of the Underground Railroad story is the focus of a groundbreaking volume of ten essays edited by Timothy Walker. Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad demonstrates that escaping bondage by sea was commonplace -- especially from southern coastal regions where slave labor in maritime industries was ubiquitous. Such work gave enslaved people experience with vessels and seafaring, a knowledge of coastal geography, contact with ships’ crews from northern free states, and access to ocean-going northbound voyages. Documented successful escapes from the far South were almost all achieved by sea. By highlighting these little-known stories and describing the less-understood maritime side of the Underground Railroad, this talk will reshape our perception of how it functioned, to provide a more comprehensive, accurate historical perspective.

Date: Thursday November 10, 2022

Time: 1:00PM-2:30PM EST

Location: Zoom

Watch the recording on our Youtube channel here.

Date: Thursday November 17, 2022

Time: 2:30pm-4:00pm EST

Location: Zoom

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Elvis D. Achuo holds a PhD in mathematical economics from the University of Dschang, Cameroon. His research interests are in the domains of development and environmental economics, resource and energy economics, and institutional economics. His works in these areas have been published in leading international journals, including Resources Policy, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Energy Reports, and African Development Review.

Energy consumption and environmental degradation in Africa: Are renewable energies guilty too?

Abstract: Although the question of environmental sustainability has attracted unprecedented interest among academics, policymakers and practitioners in recent years, the debate whether renewable or non-renewable energy consumption enhances or impedes environmental sustainability remains far from being settled. Thus, this study empirically examines the effects of fossil fuel and renewable energy consumption on environmental degradation in Africa over the 1996-2020 period. The study employs the ordinary least squares (OLS), system generalised method of moments (SGMM) and Driscoll-Kraay robust standard errors estimators. Results of these econometric techniques show that energy consumption (both fossil fuel and renewable energy) increases greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, thereby impeding environmental sustainability. These results are robust across various regional economic blocs and income groups but for Upper-middle-income countries and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) where energy consumption is environment-enhancing. Furthermore, as regards transmission mechanisms, the results show that the environmental impacts of fossil fuel consumption are modulated through financial development and ICT adoption, leading to respective positive net effects of 0.04460796 and 0.07682873. This is up to respective policy threshold levels of 203.265 and 137.105 of financial development and ICT when the positive net effects are nullified. Contingent on these findings, it is imperative for African countries to develop sound financial systems and encourage the use of green technologies. However, policymakers should also be aware of the critical levels of financial development and ICT, beyond which complementary policies are required for non-renewable energy consumption to maintain a negative impact on environmental degradation.