Oxford backs historian after he’s criticized for saying guilt around British colonialism may have gone too farHistorians in the News
tags: colonialism, britain, Nigel Biggar
Oxford University has defended a professor after he was denounced by students as “bigoted” for writing a column in The Times in which he argued that guilt around British colonialism may have gone too far.
Nigel Biggar, regius professor of moral and pastoral theology, wrote that “strident anti-colonialists” could lead to a feeling of guilt which makes the public “vulnerable to wilful manipulation”.
Common Ground, a race rights group based in Oxford, yesterday described the column as “racist” and accused Professor Biggar of “whitewashing” the British empire.
A letter on the group’s website said “we stand in solidarity” with the those who have criticised Professor Biggar following his article.
They said the academic “implies that colonised societies had no political order prior to colonisation, invoking a racist, hackneyed, and fictional trope about the nature of pre-colonial societies”.
The campaign criticised the academic’s role in leading the university’s project on “Ethics and Empire”, which is analysing the impact of Britain’s imperial past. “We believe Nigel Biggar has shown himself to be an inauspicious and inappropriate leader for this project,” the group wrote.
It also criticised Professor Biggar, director of the McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics, and Public Life, for making a speech at the Oxford Union during which he defended Cecil Rhodes in the face of calls for a statue of the “British imperialist” to be removed from the university. ...
comments powered by Disqus
- A load of gold worth up to $54 million went missing during the Civil War. There may be a break in the case.
- How American High Schools Teach The Iraq War
- The waves of feminism, and why people keep fighting over them, explained
- Florida to replace Confederate statue in US Capitol
- 43% of Americans still think the Iraq War was a good idea
- “Civilisations" presenter David Olusoga blames Winston Churchill for war crimes in Africa
- University of Chicago’s Hanna Holborn Gray has written a memoir
- Historians’ assessment of Obama’s legacy
- Facebook’s Historian: Professor Heather Cox Richardson
- Historians at the Rochester Institute of Technology are bolstering Wikipedia’s archive of entries on women’s history