Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

February 8, 2005

Renowned British Authority on Slavery to Speak at Whitworth
as Part of Black History Month

James Walvin, Ph.D., professor of history at the University of York, England, will present a lecture, "Making Money in the Atlantic: Slavery and Western Wealth," on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth College. Admission is free. For more information, please call (509) 777-4303.

Walvin is an internationally known authority on the history of slavery and modern British social history.

"Few people realize that the rise of wealth in the western world had much to do with African slavery," Walvin says. "In fact, the shipping of millions of Africans into the Americas -- most of them not to the United States, but to Brazil and the Caribbean - laid the groundwork for the emergence of material well-being in Europe. We can trace this in a number of ways: business, banks, insurance companies -- even stately homes. All of these and more benefited from the trade in black humanity."

Walvin's public lecture is part of Whitworth's Black History Month program. While on campus he will also speak in several history classes and meet with faculty and students.

"Whitworth is fortunate to have an expert such as Walvin who is an international authority on the history of the Atlantic slave trade," says Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Gordon Jackson, who taught with Walvin in the University of Pittsburgh's Semester at Sea program, in 2002. "Jim is a wonderfully articulate and engaging speaker who will bring a rich understanding of slavery to our campus -- both in his public lecture and in the classroom."

Walvin received the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize in 1974 and has written more than 20 books on the topic of slavery, including The Slave Trade (Sutton Books, 1999), Making the Black Atlantic: Britain and the African Diaspora (London and New York, 2000), Britain's Slave Empire (Tempus Publishing, Stroud 2000) and (as co-author) The Slavery Reader (Routledge, 2003). He is currently writing Island Peoples, a History of the Caribbean, to be published by Random House.

Walvin is also co-editor of the scholarly journal Slavery and Abolition, published three times a year by Cass of London, and is co-editor of a book series, Slave and Post-slave Societies, published by Cass.

Walvin served as provost at the University of York from 1988-1996 and was the Kenan Distinguished Professor in Humanities from 1987-1988 at the College of William and Mary, in Virginia. He has received several fellowships, including the 2002 Gilder Lehrman Fellowship, the Coca-Cola Fellowship, and the Andrew Mellon Fellowship.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,400 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Gordon Jackson, associate dean for academic affairs, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4763 or gjackson@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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