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Queen’s appoints Dr Meleisa Ono-George to its Brittenden Fellowship in History

10 March 2021

The Queen’s College is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Meleisa Ono-George as its first Brittenden Fellow in History, with an Associate Professorship in Oxford’s History Faculty, starting in October 2021.

For the newly established Brittenden Fellowship in History, the College and Faculty had agreed that the post would be in Black British History, for an historian with knowledge of the culture, society, or politics of people of African and/or Caribbean descent in Britain.

Dr Ono-George is a social-cultural historian of race and gender, with a focus on Black women’s histories in Britain and the Anglo-Caribbean. She completed her PhD at the University of Warwick before working in the department as Associate Professor and Director of Student Experience.

She is currently conducting research for a book that focuses on the lives of several Black women in nineteenth and early twentieth century Britain. In addition, she has also begun developing her next project which looks at the history of Black mothering in Britain and the politics of historical production.

Dr Ono-George will become one of the College’s two Fellows in History, replacing John Davis, who is retiring at the end of this academic year.  She will share the teaching of History with Conor O’Brien, who is in his first year as Associate Professor in the Early Medieval History of the British Isles and North Atlantic World.

Despite the University recruitment freeze occasioned by the coronavirus, a permanent endowment gift from Old Member Frederick (Fred) H. Brittenden (Modern History, 1946) has enabled the College to step in to secure the early release of this post and to fund it for the first five years. After that time, it will be jointly funded by Queen’s and the Faculty of History.

The College’s Senior Tutor and Fellow in French, Seth Whidden, said: ‘The College is very excited to make this appointment, which comes at a particularly opportune moment. A group of students, academic staff, and non-academic staff worked throughout the summer and autumn to identify ways to improve issues of race, diversity, and access at Queen’s. Their proposals and this post have contributed directly and meaningfully to the College’s unwavering commitment that Queen’s continue to be a welcoming place for all: within and beyond the syllabus. While necessarily looking to the past, this appointment of a Fellow who specialises in Black British History will also help us chart a course for our future.’

Dr Meleisa Ono-George