Cecil Foster


Cecil Foster.

Cecil Foster


Cecil Foster


Contact Information

1007 Clemens Hall

Buffalo NY, 14260

Phone: (716) 645-0786



  • PhD, York University, 2002


Joining UB’s faculty as Professor of Transnational Studies in the Fall of 2013 is Cecil Foster, PhD. Professor Foster is a Canadian novelist, essayist, journalist and scholar, and is one of Canada’s leading public intellectuals writing and speaking about that country’s experience with multiculturalism. He has firsthand experience with this subject. He was born in Barbados in 1954 and emigrated to Canada in 1978. He has been a reporter for various newspapers and was editor of Contrast, Canada’s first Black-oriented newspaper, and senior editor for The Financial Post. He has also worked for the CBC in radio and television, amd for the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Professor Foster’s non-fiction books include Distorted Mirror: Canada’s Racist Face (1991); A Place Called Heaven: The Meaning of Being Black in Canada (1996); Island Wings: A Memoir (1998); Where Race Does Not Matter (2005), and Blackness and Modernity: The Colour of Humanity and the Quest for Freedom (2007). The latter book won the prestigiuos John Porter award from the Canadian Sociological Association for the best scholarly book published in the discipline in Canada that year. His four novels include the highly praised debut No Man in the House (1991) and Sleep On, Beloved (1995), both published by Ballantine in the U.S. and Random House in Canada; Slammin’ Tar (1998) and Dry Bone Memories (2001). His fifth novel, Independence, was published by Harper Collins Canada in 2014.

In 2002, Prof. Foster completed his doctorate, an exploration of the concept of Blackness in Canada, at York University. Since then he has been an academic. Prior to joining UB’s faculty, Prof. Foster was Professor of Sociology at the University of Guelph in Ontario. He has also served as an adjunct professor of African and African-American Studies at the University of Buffalo for the past several years. In addition to his offerings in Canadian Studies, Prof. Foster teaches courses in African and African-American Studies, and in Caribbean Cultural Studies.

Selected Publications

  • No Man in the House
  • Caribana, the Greatest Celebration
  • Sleep On, Beloved
  • A Place Called Heaven: The Meaning of Being Black in Canada
  • Slammin' Tar
  • Island Wings: A Memoir
  • Dry Bones Memories
  • Where Race Does Not Matter: The New Spirit of Modernity
  • Blackness and Modernity: The Colour of Humanity and the Quest for Freedom
  • Independence

Awards and Honors

  • John Porter Award: Blackness and Modernity: The Colour of Humanity and the Quest for Freedom