Dr. Hans Rollman, Professor Emeritus

Jul 19th, 2021

Barry Stephenson

Dr. Hans Rollman, Professor Emeritus

It with great pleasure that I announce Hans J. Rollmann has been awarded the title of Professor Emeritus, in recognition of his exceptional career in the classroom and as a path-breaking researcher. The service Hans provided to the Department, the University, and the people of the Province makes this a most deserved award.

Hans Rollmann holds a BA from Pepperdine University and MA from Vanderbilt University; he awarded the PhD from McMaster University, in 1979. He was appointed by Memorial University President Moses Morgan, in 1981, to the Department of Religious Studies. In his thirty-five-year career, Dr. Rollmann distinguished himself through his prodigious research, his commitment to the University community, and his service to people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Author of some 150 publications, Dr. Rollmann received the University’s Outstanding Research Award (1986) and served as Principal Investigator or Co-Applicant on three projects funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. He is the recipient of the German-Canadian Friendship Award in Recognition of Outstanding Support of German-Canadian Relations (2000), bestowed annually by the Federal Republic of Germany. Dr. Rollmann, upon arriving in the Province, turned his considerable talents to studying and working with the Inuit of Labrador. Through detailed archival research and innumerable visits to Labrador communities, Dr. Rollmann unearthed the world of Moravian Missions in the North, while contributing to the recovery of Inuit history and culture, aiding Inuit peoples and the Nunatsiavut Government in better understanding and reclaiming their own agency in the colonial and postcolonial eras. As former Deputy Minister of Culture, Dave Lough, succinctly put it, speaking in 2017, “[Hans has] set the record straight, correcting some previous research and adding new depth and detail to our knowledge of Inuit and European settlements since the 1760s…. He has made an incredible contribution which is advancing the well-being of all of Labrador” (Labrador Life, Fall 2017).

Memorial University’s effort to establish itself as a leader in the efforts of reconciliation and Indigenization owe a great deal to the work of Dr. Rollmann. Upon retirement, in 2015, Dr. Rollmann was appointed Honorary Research Professor in conjunction with his contributions to “Tradition & Transition,” a five-year partnership (2015-2020) between the Nunatsiavut Government and Memorial University of Newfoundland, funded through a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership grant. The project is designed to strengthen both traditional Inuit knowledge and the research being conducted in Nunatsiavut to ensure the continuing vitality of Labrador Inuit culture. As this five-year project draws to a close, it is fitting and appropriate that Dr. Rollmann’s long and meritorious career be recognized with the awarding of Professor Emeritus status. Congratulations, Hans, and best wishes from colleagues and students in the Department of Religious Studies. https://www.facebook.com/hans.rollmann