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
- Black Lives Matter Movement Prods Bethlehem and Other Districts to Review How History is Taught
- During the Civil War, the Enslaved Were Given an Especially Odious Job. The Pay Went to Their Owners.
- Riots Long Ago, Luxury Living Today
- Native Americans and Polynesians Met Around 1200 A.D.
- Campaign Urges NASA to Rename the John C. Stennis Space Center
- Historical Association Schools Teachers on White House History
- MIT Professor Tunney Lee, an Architect, Urban Planner, and Historian of Chinatown, Dies at 88
- Historian Adrian Miller on Denver’s Underrepresented Legacy of Black Culinary Excellence
- ‘If I tell people about what happened, I honor my ancestors.’ How the Pandemic is Helping a Slavery Historian Develop a K-12 Lesson Plan on African-American History
- In Memoriam: Historian and Politician Ivo Banac