Legacies of British Slave Ownership: Thoughts on British Imperial History and Public Memory

JHIBlog

by Emily Rutherford

Last week, I was meant to be teaching the women’s suffrage movement to my modern British history discussion section, but my students only wanted to talk about one thing: Prime Minister David Cameron visited Jamaica last week, but was dismissive of calls from prominent Jamaican politicians and public figures that Britain pay reparations to Jamaica and other West Indian nations whose people were the victims of Britain’s eighteenth- and nineteenth-century slave trade. My students were interested in this, I suspect, because they are of a generation of American and international students who care deeply about imperial and postcolonial history, and see a greater understanding of empire (and its sins) as a key reason to study British history. If you count the US (as we should) as a former British colony, nearly everyone enrolled in the lecture course for which I TA has a heritage that is somehow…

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‘Apostrophes’: Nikole Hannah-Jones on Race, Education and Inequality, at Longreads Story Night

Longreads

The video above is an incredibly moving piece by The New York Times Magazine’s Nikole Hannah-Jones, filmed at our Longreads Story Night in New York City. Our thanks to Hannah-Jones, Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, and all of our special guests for an amazing night. We’ll share more clips from Story Night soon, and you can see all of our videos on our YouTube page or Facebook.

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“Indigenizing the Academy” without Indigenous people: who can teach our stories?

Moontime Warrior

“The Indigenous person engages in philosophy by thoughtfully examining the world. The outsider examines Indigenous philosophy by thoughtfully interacting with the Indigenous philosopher.”

— Thurman Lee Hester Jr. and Dennis McPherson, “The Euro-American Philosophical Tradition and its Ability to Examine Indigenous Philosophy”1

With the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report on residential schools in June 2015, “Indigenizing the Academy” is a hot topic in Canadian universities. As institutions explore the introduction of Indigenous content, we have to question what is defined as Indigenous content, who this content serves, and how the pursuit of “indigenizing the academy” can easily become exploitative.

In 2013, I helped put together a new syllabus for an Indigenous Philosophy class at my university. The philosophy department wouldn’t consider allowing someone without a PhD in philosophy teach this course, but pairing an Indigenous undergrad with a white philosophy professor was, apparently, acceptable. (Oh, the power…

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GORDIE, HOMEY, AND THE TIME I PISSED MY PANTS IN PUBLIC.

EXILE ON TRUMBULL STREET

gordieandhomieThe single most prominent memory I have of the Hartford Whalers from my childhood is not any of the historical milestones that are typical of nostalgic anecdotes; no Ron Francis trade, no Adams Division titles, no Whalermania parades. I didn’t even go to the last game. I was a deeply troubled sixteen year-old runaway and drop-out by the time the Whalers said goodbye to Hartford. The Civic Center and the 15,000 or so mourners who packed it to the rafters that day seemed a million miles away to my teenage self. It was a dark time to live in Connecticut and a dark time in my life, and quite frankly I was far too concerned with cultivating my image as a miserably cool punk rock kid to be caught dead wearing kelly green and crying in public.

In a way it is perfectly fitting that the one thing I remember…

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No more mystery

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Had to pick my mate’s kid up from ice hockey camp today. Flynn is having a great time. Me not so much. Had to help peel all the stinky sweaty gear off the kid and then put them in the storage room. Gross. There is no longer any mystery what happens down in the rooms at the rink. I dont know what I thought happened down there but the reality is way less glamourous. Not as sexy as Keanu makes it look.