Professor Olivette Otele – First Femal Black Professor

Inspirational Keynote Speaker -

  • Independent Chair of Bristol’s Commission on Race Equality
  • First Professor of the History of Slavery at Bristol University
  • Vice-President & Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Board Member of Historians Against Slavery

As the first Black female Professor of History, Olivette Otele is a symbol of inclusion and hope.

She has dedicated her professional life to the study of history, as both the Chair of Bristol’s Race Equality Commission and author of Histoire de L’esclavage Transatlantique Britannique, Afro-Europeans: A Short History and African Europeans: An Untold History. Specialising in geopolitics, the slave trade and Europe’s colonial past, Olivette’s keynote speeches educate audiences on pinnacle events in world history.

Upon being appointed Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University in 2013, Olivette explored collective memory and European colonisation, before being appointed the first Black female Professor of History in the UK, in 2018.

The prestigious position is a testament to Olivette’s determination and mental resilience, as she had to work twice as hard due to discrimination against her race.

Now, Olivette is using her appointment to inspire more Black female academics to follow in her footsteps, having opened the door for minority professionals.

As a historian, Olivette has shared her knowledge across several forms of media.

As a writer, she has produced valuable content for Times Higher Education, The Conversation, and the BBC, as well as such books as Post-Conflict Memorialization: Missing Memorials, Absent Bodies, published in 2019. Taking to the airwaves, she has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and History Hit podcast, as well as the John Blanke Project.

In celebration of her positive influence, Olivette was named in BBC’s 2018 100 Women List and Prospect’s Greatest Thinkers of 2020.

She has researched and explored several important topics, including the African diaspora, citizenship and immigration, and the Atlantic slave trade.

Focusing recently on Bristol’s role in the slave trade, Olivette is paving the way for new methods of examining and teaching the history of British slavery.

As a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Board Member of Historians Against Slavery and Executive Board Member for The British Society for the Eighteenth-Century Studies, to name a few of her distinguished positions, Olivette is a pioneer of diversity in historical studies.

Having previously been booked for the 2019 Social History Society Annual Conference, Olivette has carved a respectable speaking career as an influential authority on history and race.