By RON FANFAIR
York University professor Dr. Carl James is among 71 newly-elected Royal Society of Canada (RSC) Fellows.
They were elected by their peers in recognition of their outstanding scholarly, scientific and artistic achievements. It’s the highest honour a scholar can achieve in the arts, humanities and sciences.
The induction ceremony takes place on November 17 at the Ottawa Convention Centre.
RSC president, Yolande Grise, said the new cohort of Fellows was elected in a highly competitive environment of first-rate candidates.
“Through their exceptional work, these new Fellows pursue the distinguished work of a long line of researchers and creators who have contributed to expand Canada’s intellectual, artistic and scientific resources to support Canada’s population and its international scope,” said Grise.
A professor in the university’s Faculty of Education and Director of the York Centre for Education and Community, Dr. James is also cross-appointed in the Sociology and Social Work graduate programs. In the past few years, he has conducted extensive research that examines the schooling, educational and athletic experiences of marginalized and racialized young people.
“This is quite a significant honour because it’s coming from your peers,” said the Antiguan-born James, who has extensive experience with critical ethnography, phenomenology, action research and government and institutional policy analysis. “It’s acknowledgment of one’s contributions in scholarship.”
Prior to joining the Faculty of Education in 1993 and becoming a full professor 10 years later, James was the director of the graduate program in Sociology. He also taught at Sheridan College and was the course director in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Physical Education & Health from 1992 to 1995 and again in 1997.
James and Norman Yan of the Faculty of Science are the only two York university professors to be bestowed with the notable RSC accolade this year.
“This prestigious recognition is well deserved as James and Yan are leading scholars who have made outstanding contributions in research in their fields,” said the university’s president and vice-chancellor, Mamdouh Shoukri.
James’ research interests include equity in education related to ethnicity, race, social class and gender; anti-racism and multicultural education; urban education; youth and sport; practitioner research; community development; immigrant settlement; immigration and minority issues; and social and educational issues in the Caribbean.
He has written and made contributions to several publications, including Seeing Ourselves: Exploring Race, Ethnicity and Identity; Race in Play: The Socio-Cultural Worlds of Student Athletes; Race and Well-Being: The Lives, Hopes and Activism of African-Canadians; Life at the Intersection: Community, Culture and Class and Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence.
For the past 15 years, James has been working with teacher educators, teachers and teacher candidates at Sweden’s Uppsala University, which honoured him in 2006 with an honorary doctorate for his contribution to social equity and anti-racism education.
Last year, James and a support team comprising Selom Chapman Nyaho and Danielle Kwan-Lafond prepared a report that showed that young people in the Youth in Policing Initiative (YIPI) program gain invaluable work experience, their attitude to police and policing improves and they feel positive and confident about their experiences which they take back to their communities.
The report was submitted to the Toronto Police Service Board in April 2011.
James’ son, Kai, completed his PhD. earlier this year at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies. His research focused on shape and topology optimization of aircraft structures. Last month, he joined New York’s Columbia University department of civil engineering and engineering mechanics as a post-doctoral research scientist.