News at the University of New Brunswick

Multi award-winning filmmaker and writer to deliver MacNutt Lecture

Author: Communications

Posted on Nov 16, 2010

Category: Events

Acclaimed Nova Scotian filmmaker, writer and educator Sylvia D. Hamilton is known for her documentary films and publications, public presentations and extensive volunteer work with artistic, social and cultural organizations on the local and national levels.  The University of New Brunswick is pleased to welcome Dr. Hamilton as the guest speaker for the 2010-2011 W. Stewart MacNutt Memorial Lecture.

Dr. Hamilton will visit both UNB campuses to deliver a talk, entitled When and Where I Enter: History, Film and Memory.  The Saint John lecture will take place Tuesday, Nov. 23, at 5:30 p.m., in Oland Hall, Room 104.  The Fredericton lecture will take place Wednesday, Nov. 24, at 5:30 p.m., in Tilley Hall, Room 102.  A reception will be held at 5 p.m., prior to both talks. 

Dr. Hamilton is a part-time professor in the Contemporary Studies Programme at the School of Journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax.  She held a Distinguished Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount St. Vincent University from 2001 to 2004.  She has been an invited filmmaker and keynote speaker in venues throughout Canada and around the world.  Prior to becoming involved in the film industry she worked in cable television, as a radio journalist and as a freelance broadcaster. She also worked with the National Film Board’s Studio D where she co-created New Initiatives in Film, a program for women of colour and First Nations women.

Her films include The Little Black School House (2007), Portia White: Think on Me (2000), Against the Tides: The Jones Family (Hymn to Freedom Series) (1994), Speak It! From the Heart of Black Nova Scotia (1993), and Black Mother Black Daughter (1989).

Dr. Hamilton has won several major awards, including a Gemini, Nova Scotia’s Portia White Prize for Excellence in the Arts, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation’s Maeda Prize, the Progress Women of Excellence Award for Arts and Culture, and the CBC Television Pioneer Award.  She is a 2008 mentor with The Trudeau Foundation.

Erin Morton, an assistant professor of history at UNB, nominated Hamilton as this year’s lecturer, saying her work has wide interdisciplinary and popular appeal.

“Dr. Hamilton's work expands collective understandings about what it means to produce history,” said Dr. Morton.

“Her creative, educational, and advocacy work is powerful and important because it collapses the standard distinctions between academia and activism.  This lecture will be appealing to anyone who believes that individuals and communities can enact social justice and change through artistic production.  Certainly Dr. Hamilton’s work creates conditions in which people can shape and reshape their own lived reality."

Sylvia Hamilton’s work sits at the invisible intersection points between history, film and memory.  In this illustrated lecture, she will reflect on the dynamic interplay among these themes and the increasingly vital role that the photographic image - moving and still - plays in recovering history and in solidifying the individual and collective memories and experiences of African descended people in the Atlantic region.

The annual W. Stewart MacNutt Memorial Lecture honours the late historian, professor and humanitarian for his many contributions to UNB and to the development of Atlantic Canadian history as a field of study.

For more information, contact Carolyn Williston-Aubie, project assistant, Faculty of Arts, 506-458-7489 or