Posts Tagged ‘Ethics and Empire’

In the recent debates about the Ethics and Empire project at Oxford and its apparently apologetic agenda – see the Oxford open letter, the letter from non-Oxford scholars of empire and colonialism, James McDougall in the Grauniad – ancient historians have kept relatively quiet; Jo Quinn was one of the signatories of the Oxford open letter, and was denounced in the Daily Mail for her pains, but the second letter seems entirely modern in its focus. This is understandable, not from any sort of cowardice or secret imperialist sympathies on the part of ancient historians, but because in the first instance this does appear to be a debate focused on the particular dynamics and problematic history of the British Empire, with the modern postcolonial experience in other regions as the second-ranked concern.

However, as I tend to argue at the drop of a hat, it’s difficult if not impossible to escape the spectre of the Roman Empire when discussing modern imperialism. (more…)

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