Institute for the Study of Slavery

New Study into the Connections between Nottingham Universities and Transatlantic Slavery


Historical Photo of NTU's Arkwright Building

The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University (NTU) are combining forces for a research project exploring their historical connections with transatlantic slavery. The project will examine the nature and extent to which Nottingham’s universities were connected to, benefitted from, and also challenged British colonial slavery.

Although both institutions were founded in the 20th century, there is a common starting point in the heart of the City of Nottingham dating back to the late 18th Century. During this period, Nottingham’s famous historical lace and hosiery industries – which prompted the Government’s creation of the Founding College of NTU – drew on supplies of raw cotton produced and cleaned by enslaved people of African descent who laboured on plantations in the American South and elsewhere in the Americas in the early 19th century.

“The reach of historical transatlantic slavery and its legacies run long, wide and deep. So it is important to see UK universities created in the 20th century and located beyond the port cities typically associated with the slave trade, launching investigations of this nature.”—Dr Susanne Seymour, Deputy Director of ISOS 

Dr James Dawkins, our newly appointed Research Fellow in the Department of History, will be leading on the 18-month project with support and guidance from academics, university staff, and Nottingham's African Caribbean Community. An official report will be published with recommendations for reparatory justice which will focus on the most appropriate ways for the city’s universities to acknowledge their links to transatlantic slavery.

 Dr James Dawkins

Dr James Dawkins


Read the full press release here.



Posted on Monday 9th December 2019

Institute for the Study of Slavery

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD