Department of English


English Language and Literature

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The Fall 2019 Robert Sutherland Visitorship
Public Lecture

Amanda Anderson poster - content provided

"Archives and Icons: James Baldwin and the Practice of Celebrity"


Dr. Robert Reid-Pharr

Professor of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
Professor of African and African American Studies
Harvard University


Friday, November 1, 2019, 3:30 - 5 pm

**Watson Hall, Room 517**
49 Bader Lane

Queen's University

Reception to follow.

Presented by the Department of English Language and Literature, the Department of Gender Studies, and The Provost's Advisory Committee for the Promotion of the Arts.


Robert Sutherland 1830-1878
BA (Queen's, 1852), Called to the bar of Canada West (1855)
  • Jamaican by birth, Robert Sutherland came to Queen's University in 1849 and spent the next three decades contributing to Canadian society. He is considered to be British North America's first known Black lawyer.
  • While at Queen's, Sutherland won 14 academic prizes, including a prize for general merit in Latin which was awarded after a vote by fellow students. He was an excellent debater and served as treasurer of the Dialectic Society, now known as the Alma Mater Society. Robert Sutherland graduated in 1852 with honours in classics and mathematics.
  • Robert Sutherland was the first Black person to graduate from Queen's University and the university's first major benefactor. He was the first known Black university graduate in Canada.
His indomitable spirit continues to inspire all who learn about his legacy.
The Robert Sutherland Visitorship, established in 1997 by the John Deutsch University Centre, brings to campus a noted speaker with expertise in the areas of equity, community diversity, and race relations.