Olivette Otele Becomes First Black Woman History Professor in the United Kingdom

Olivette Otele has become the first Black woman history professor in the United Kingdom. She has been named a professor of history at Bath Spa University where she will lead history courses at the university’s Newton Park on Duchy of Cornwall campus.

Dr. Otele’s current research focuses on transnational history and in particular the link between history, collective memory and geopolitics in relation to British and French colonial pasts. She charts and analyses the ways in which Britain and France have been addressing questions of citizenship, race, and identity through the politics of remembrance.  In addition to teaching, Dr. Otele is also a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an executive board member of the British Society for the Eighteenth-Century Studies, a board member of Historians Against Slavery, and a member of the Association for Cultural Studies.

After her appointment was announced, Dr. Otele tweeted, “BIG NEWS: my people, @BathSpaUni has awarded me a professorship and a Chair in History. May this open the door 2 many hard working women, especially WoC, even + specifically Black women, in academia in general & in History in particular. In strength, peace and love my ppl.”

Dr. Otele holds a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. in history from Sorbonne University in Paris.

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