The Lady Ademola Project launched in Hilary Term 2020 supports students and scholars of Black, African, or Caribbean heritage
Kofoworola Ademola (née Moore) (1913–2002) arrived at St Hugh’s College in 1932 to study English and in 1935 became the first Black African woman to achieve a degree at Oxford. Lady Ademola, as Kofoworola would become, was a lifelong advocate for women’s education and social reform—hence this project, which is intended to keep her legacy alive in the new millennium.
St Hugh’s College is excited to be developing a set of activities inspired by her achievements and aimed at increasing access as well as meaningful participation in the life of the College for Black, African, or Caribbean heritage scholars and students.
These activities include the annual Lady Ademola Lecture; a senior Visiting Fellowship; and a graduate student scholarship. Further details on these can be found below.
The Lady Ademola Project - More Information
The Lady Ademola Lecture is delivered annually by an eminent speaker of Black, African, or Caribbean heritage who can speak on any topic related to their expertise or experience. In June 2021, we were honoured to hear Professor Loretta J Ross give a lecture entitled ‘Appropriate Whiteness’. Professor Ross is an Associate Professor at Smith College in Northampton (USA), Massachusetts, in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender. A recording of the lecture can be viewed on St Hugh’s website.
This year’s Lady Ademola Lecture will be given by Professor Essaka Joshua, entitled: “Approaching Disability and Race in British Literature 1780-1840”, on Thursday 3 November 2022, 5.30pm-6.30pm. Essaka Joshua has published three monographs and numerous articles and chapters on Romantic and Victorian literature. Joshua currently specializes in Disability Studies and is engaged in a book project on disability in British Romantic theatre. Professor Joshua is Associate Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.
Generous contributions from our donors and alumni have enabled us to offer our very first St Hugh’s Ademola Graduate Scholarship in 2021-2022, in partnership with the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx). The scholarship supports a student who has otherwise been unable to secure funding to read for one-year Masters in any field supported by scholars at the College. The partnership with AfOx means that our scholarship holder will benefit from mentoring and academic support, membership of a community of students from Africa, and access to professional opportunities.
We hope to host a senior Visiting Fellow from an African university to the College in the coming academic year, when conditions of travel allow. This builds on the excellent visit in 2019 of Dr Alemseged Beldados of the University of Addis Ababa, supported by an AfOx Fellowship. St Hugh’s currently has six fellows whose research is directly concerned with Africa and its diaspora, and a growing number of undergraduate and postgraduate students of Black, African, or Caribbean heritage. While we have made a modest start, we look forward to a fruitful partnership with AfOx, and we are keen to develop the Lady Ademola project with the support of our alumni and donors.