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European Accolade For University of York Scholars

Uni of York 300414

10:47am 27th August 2014

Geoff Bailey, Anniversary Professor of Archaeology, and James Walvin, Emeritus Professor of History, become members of the group, which is the European Academy of Humanities, Letters and Sciences, with its membership drawn from across Europe and from all disciplines.

Professor Bailey is a world authority on the archaeology of prehistoric coastlines and submerged landscapes, and has an international reputation for interdisciplinary collaboration across the boundary between archaeology and the marine and terrestrial geosciences.

He joined York in 2004 after a career in the Universities of Cambridge and Newcastle, and is currently Principal Investigator of the European Research Council-funded DISPERSE project – Dynamic Landscapes, Coastal Environments and Human Dispersals – with Geoffrey King of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris and an international team of specialists. They are investigating the impact of physical landscape change on human evolution and dispersal over the past 1 million years in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Near East and Australia, developing new methods of landscape reconstruction and archaeological survey using satellite imagery, tectonic geomorphology and underwater mapping.   

Professor Bailey is also Chairman of SPLASHCOS – Submerged Prehistoric Archaeology and Landscapes of the Continental Shelf – with Dimitris Sakellariou of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research. This is a 150-strong research network, funded by the EU as a Trans-Domain COST Action, with members in 25 European States drawn from archaeology, marine geosciences, heritage organisations and industry. It promotes research, training, better management and greater public awareness of the drowned landscapes of the continental shelf, their value as a hidden part of the human cultural heritage, and their significance as a source of new knowledge about sea-level change and its past and future social impact.

Professor Bailey said “I am delighted with this honour, which more than anything recognises the virtues of crossing traditional boundaries in the pursuit of new knowledge, the central role of archaeology in addressing both fundamental and policy-relevant research into the human condition, and the growing importance of multi-national funding and collaboration in supporting such endeavours”.”

Professor Walvin, described by Yale University as "one of the great scholars of the Transatlantic slave trade, and a pioneer in unearthing the history of Black Britain”, spent most of his career at York and still lives in the city.

Between 1987 and 1988, he was Distinguished Kenan Professor in the Humanities at the College of William and Mary, Virginia, U.S.A. He has also held visiting fellowships at the Australian National University, University of the West Indies (Barbados), La Trobe University, the Huntington Library and Yale University.

Professor Walvin played a leading role in events in 2007 to mark the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the slave trade in the British colonies. He was one of the principal speakers in a three-day international conference on the continuing legacy of Abolition, staged by the University of York, and curator of two exhibitions on Abolition — in the Palace of Westminster and in Birmingham. He is co-editor of the journal Slavery and Abolition.

In 2008, the Queen awarded him the Order of the British Empire for ‘services to scholarship" and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature the following year. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

He is the author of 42 books principally on slavery and abolition as well as an authoritative history of football The Only Game — Football In Our Times. Professor Walvin’s research on slavery and the slave trade continues and he is writing a book - Slavery in Small Things. Exploring slavery in Western Life. His next book is a departure, however. It is a memoir entitled, Different Times. Growing up in Post-War England due to be published in November

Professor Walvin said: “I am to greatly honoured to be elected to this community of eminent scholars.”

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