Fonds F0707 - Carl James fonds

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Carl James fonds

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14.2 m of textual records
336 computer disks : 9 x 9 cm
248 audio cassettes
17 video cassettes : VHS
7 compact discs
8 posters

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Dr. Carl E. James is known for his work in Toronto's marginalized communities, and for his work, nationally and internationally, in research on equity as related to race, class, gender and citizenship.

Emigrating from Antigua, James volunteered and worked with youth in Toronto as early as the 1970s at organizations such as the Black Education Project, Harriet Tubman Centre, Central Neighborhood House (working in Regent Park, St. Jamestown and Moss Park neighbourhoods) (1978-1980, 1987), and the Family Service Association in Etobicoke (1981-1983).

He pursued his education at York University and obtained a Bachelors (Hon.) in Sociology and Latin American & Caribbean in 1978, a Masters in Sociology in 1980, and a Doctorate in Sociology in 1986. Between 1980 and 1981, James completed courses in Graduate Social Work from the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto.

In 1993, he joined York University's Faculty of Education. He has been cross-appointed to the graduate programs in the Department of Sociology since 1999, the Graduate Programmes in Social Work from 1995 to 2016, and Social and Political Thought from 2015. He has also been Visiting Course Director in the Department of Teacher Training at the University of Uppsala in Sweden from 1997 - 2013 where he taught an international course in Multicultural Education.

James combined his experience in community development work and advocacy with his academic and research interests to work with teacher candidates, faculty colleagues, teachers and community members in the Jane and Finch community, where since 1994, he has played a major role in the development of the York-Westview Partnership program that links local schools, the university, and the Jane/Finch community.

A prolific writer and researcher, James has authored, co-authored, edited and co-edited some 21 books, 75 book chapters, 38 journal articles, over a dozen educational resource material, many conference papers, and invited lectures, talks, and workshops. A number of his works are in Swedish and French. His first book (1990), Making It: Black Youth, Racism and Career Aspirations in a Big City remains an important reference on issues about identity construction and schooling of Black youth. In some of his recent publications, James has examined social, education and immigrant settlement issues in the Caribbean and Jamaica and Antigua in particular, and immigrant settlement and minority issues in Sweden.

His work focuses on the experiences of racialized youth, particularly African Canadians. His research and publications into experiences of difference due to race, ethnicity, class, and culture range from studying the schooling and university plans of students from urban and suburban neighborhoods, the complementary and contradictory nature of sports in the schooling and educational attainments of racialized students, to the social construction of marginalized males in relation to the racialization and norms of masculinity in schooling, and the capacity of multiculturalism as a state policy to address racism and discrimination. His interest in equity, diversity, inclusivity, and social justice informs his research and publications, including his examination of the educational performance and outcomes of students in higher education, and the importance of educational programs and curriculum that are responsive to the needs, interests, and aspirations of students. Areas of focus include the Jane and Finch neighbourhood, suburban areas in Toronto, and Canada.

Prior to his appointment to York University, his teaching experience includes positions at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute's Department of Sociology (1982-1983, 1988), Seneca College's Liberal Studies and Continuing Education Departments (1981-1989), Humber College's Continuing Education program (1990-1994), and Sheridan College an Instructor (1986-1993).

James has also held a number of visiting scholar/part-time course director appoints at Trent University's Department of Canadian Studies (1993), Queen's University's Geography Department (2001-2003, 2005, 2008) University of Western Sydney's School of Education (2003), Dalhousie University's School of Social Work (2006), University of Toronto's Graduate Program in the Faculty of Physical Education & Health (1996-2009), Mt. St. Vincent's University's Faculty of Education (2007, 2012), and the University of Alberta's Department of Educational Policy Studies (2015).

James was the university's Affirmative Action Officer from 2003 to 2006, the director of the Graduate Programme in Sociology from 2007 to 2008, the founding Director of the York Centre for Education and Community from 2008 to 2016, and the Affirmative Action, Equity and Inclusivity Officer of the university since 2016. In 2016, he was appointed for a five-year term as the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora, bringing a strong record of scholarship and community engagement to the position.

Examples of James' community service includes being appointed as an Advisor to the Ontario Minister of Education and Premier(2017-2018), a member of the Committee Advisory group of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (2017-), served on the Advisory Panel on Community Safety to the Toronto Police Services Board (2008-2009), member of the Board of Directors for the Youth Challenge Fund (with the United Way of Greater Toronto) (2006-2009), member of the Board of Directors for the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, Toronto (1997-1998), Advisory/Planning Committee for Alternative School (Nighana) with focus on African Studies (1995). He has also served on the board of the Joint Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration & Settlement (2003-2009, chair in 2008) and on the Equity Committee of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) (2000-2009). He was also a member of the Executive Committee, & Chair, Equity & Diversity Committee the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) (2015-2018); and of the Equity Committee, Canadian Sociological Association (CSA), 2013 - 2016. Internationally, he serves a member of the National Advisory Committee of the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE), University of Oklahoma, USA (2017- ).

His honours and awards include membership as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2012), the Diaspora Award for Meritious Service from the Governor General of Antigua & Barbuda (2017), York Universit's Graduate Faculty Teaching Award (2017), Jackie Robinson Fortitude Award for Education (2014), Harry Jerome Award for Professional Excellence (Black Business and Professional Association (2013), African Canadian Achievement Award (Education) (2009), William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations, City of Toronto (2008), New Pioneer Award: Skills for Change (March 2006), and President's Award of Excellence in Teaching, Sheridan College (1991). He has been included in the Who's Who in Black Canada (2006) and Canadian Who's Who (since 1998). In 2006, James received an Honourary Doctorate in Education from Uppsala University, Sweden.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created by Carl James in the course of his activities as a sociologist and a university professor, including research data, publications, teaching material, and administrative records for the York Centre for Education and Community.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Dr. Carl James in 2017.


No discernable order at the time of donation. Archivist imposed a series arrangement based on functional activities of creator.

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  • English
  • French
  • Swedish

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Some files restricted. See file level notes.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2017/08/22 KCP. Created.
2019/02/11 KCP. Published 2017-020 description.
2019/09/04 KCP. Updated extent to include digital record series.
2020/03/26 KCP, N. Somerset. Added subject access points.

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