Daily Archives: January 31, 2023

COVID-19 remains global emergency

CGTN – Jan 31, 2023

For more: https://www.cgtn.com/video

After last Friday’s meeting of the World Health Organization’s emergency committee on COVID-19, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explained that the pandemic is probably at a “transition point.” He warned that it is not the time to declare the pandemic over and that the global response to the crisis “remains hobbled.” How can countries navigate this transitional stage in a more rational way and learn from each other for a more appropriate response? The Hub with Wang Guan talks to Dr. Alice Hyun-Kyung Tan, internist at MizMedi Women’s Hospital in Seoul, and Wu Zhiwei, professor and director at the Center for Public Health Research at Medical School of Nanjing University. As the virus remains a permanently established pathogen and with long COVID threatening high-risk and vulnerable groups, how can public health systems boost vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics provision? What is the impact of disinformation and misinformation on efforts to curb infections? And how prepared is China for future waves of infection?

Did Europeans Enslave Native Americans?

PBS Origins Dec 18, 2020

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Here in the United States, when we think about the term “slavery” we think about the transatlantic slave trade and the institution of chattel slavery. But this wasn’t the only type of enslavement that took place in the Americas and the Caribbean. Today Danielle looks at the complicated history surrounding the European enslavement of Indigenous peoples.

Special thanks to our Historian Harry Brisson and Archivists Rachel Brice, Jafra D. Thomas, and Alex Hackman on Patreon!

Created and Hosted by Danielle Bainbridge
Produced by Complexly for PBS Digital Studios

American Indian Slave Trade in the Colonial South

CAB Grand Rising Show Premiered Jul 4, 2022

Native Americans living in the American Southeast were enslaved through warfare and purchased by European colonists in North America throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, as well as held in captivity through Spanish-organized forced labor systems in Florida. Emerging British colonies in Virginia, Carolina (later, North and South Carolina), and Georgia imported Native Americans and incorporated them into chattel slavery systems, where they intermixed with slaves of African descent, who would eventually come to outnumber them. The settlers’ demand for slaves affected communities as far west as present-day Illinois and the Mississippi River and as far south as the Gulf Coast. European settlers exported tens of thousands of enslaved Native Americans outside the region to New England and the Caribbean.

Natives were sometimes used as labor on plantations or as servants to wealthy colonist families, other times they were used as interpreters for European traders. The policies on the treatment and slavery of Native Americans varied from colony to colony in the Southeast. The Native American slave trade in the southeast relied on Native Americans trapping and selling other Natives into slavery; this trade between the colonists and the Native Americans had a profound effect on the shaping and nature of slavery in the Southeast.[1] While Natives enslaved other Natives prior to the contact with the European settlers, such Native slaves were held as personal servants or to perform other tasks, not as chattel slaves. Slaves were of little or no economic significance for Native societies.[2] Following British settlement, a number of Native societies, armed with European firearms, oriented themselves around waging war to capture other Native people, selling them into chattel slavery. The Southeastern plantations that European settlers established greatly relied on the exploitation of enslaved human beings, with slaves comprising a key component of their workforce. The slave trade and warfare that facilitated it diminished the numbers of Native peoples in the region and drove many other Native societies to flee their homelands, breaking apart existing communities and eventually leading to a new map of peoples and ethnic groups in the region.
Slavery existed in all societies worldwide from prehistory, see History of slavery for a global perspective and Slavery among the indigenous peoples of the Americas for information specific to that region. Slavery practices continued and evolved as Europeans came to North America in large numbers starting in the 1600s.

In many cases the European colonists would trade with Native Americans: giving them goods and weapons, such as the flintlock musket, in exchange for beaver pelts and native people to be sold into slavery. One of the first groups to set up such agreements was the Westos, or Richehecrians, who originally came from the north into Virginia and are said to be descendants of the Erie. After an attempt to end the agreements the Savannah people filled the role previously held by the Westos; and eventually the role fell to the Yamasee and the Creek.

The captured Native Americans were brought to the Carolina colony to be sold, and were often then resold to the Caribbean, where they would be less likely to escape, or were resold to one of the other thirteen British colonies of North America.[3][4][5] This trade of slaves was not a very self-sustaining venture. Either the native population was being wiped out and those who were not being killed or captured became the captors; and as the population of natives available for capture dwindled then the captors began to fall into debt with the colonists whom they were trading with. This debt and frustration that began the Yamasee War of 1715, which would ultimately be one of the factors that lead to the demise of the trade system in the Carolinas.[6]

The Florida peninsula was under the control of the Spanish Empire until 1763, when for 20 years it was a British colony, the Spanish taking over again in 1783. Prior to the British Florida interval, there was a period in the early 1700s during which Spanish Florida was a hotbed for the raiding natives from the northern Carolina and Georgia areas. Though they were left alone for the most part by one of the original raiding groups, the Westos—who are said to be descendants of the Erie People, Spanish Florida was heavily targeted by the later raiding groups the Yamasee and Creek. These raids in which villages were destroyed and natives captured or killed drove the natives to the hands of the Spaniards, who protected them as best they could. However, the strength of the Spanish dwindled and as the raids continued, the Spanish and the natives were forced to retreat further down the peninsula.

Lectures in History Preview: Indian Slave Trade in the Colonial South

C-SPAN Jul 29, 2014

Full Program Airs August 2, 2014 at 8pm & midnight ET. For More Information: http://bit.ly/1o9HehQ

Why Do We Need The Humanities? | cambridgeforum

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Register for this ZOOM forum on

Why Do We Need The Humanities?
Tuesday, January 31at 5:00 pm ET

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Empire History at Oxford | Faculty of History

Empire History at Oxford

darwin global history

Few subjects have experienced such a dizzying ride on the rollercoaster of intellectual fashion as the academic study of modern imperial history. The field had enjoyed a renaissance in the 1960s when it was liberated from the need to justify British and other European colonialisms. The influence of Jack Gallagher and Ronald Robinson was crucial. Their famous historiographical manifesto ‘The Imperialism of Free Trade’, published in the Economic History Review in 1953, and their study of the partition of Africa, Africa and the Victorians (1961), signalled a new analytical and resolutely unsentimental approach to empire. They stimulated a fresh generation of researchers to explore the mechanics of rule and ‘collaboration’, the constraints of geopolitics and the significance of ‘informal empires’ of trade and finance in Latin America and China. But by the 1970s the wind had changed. Now it was the history of new post-colonial nations that seemed most relevant to understand the emerging ‘Third World’ at a time of intensifying rivalry between East and West. This, and the availability of new government funding (those were the days!) made ‘area studies’ much more attractive to younger scholars than the imperial systems of which they had once formed part. By contrast, public attitudes in Britain, from government downwards, turned away from empire history as if from an embarrassing relation. Europe was the future. Empire was a non-usable past. Amnesia was best.

When I arrived back in Oxford in 1984 after twelve years at Reading, the subject seemed at a low ebb. If one was careless enough to admit an interest in imperial history to an academic colleague, it provoked a facial expression that moved through incomprehension to mild irritation and finally to pity and concern: here was a colleague throwing his career away in what one (Africanist) historian described as ‘the deadest of dead subjects’. Indeed, within a year of my arrival, three of the five ‘imperial’ papers I had laboriously ‘got up’ were abolished in a syllabus reform. But there were three bright spots. A Further Subject, ‘Imperialism and Nationalism’, devised by Ronald Robinson (Beit Professor of Commonwealth History, 1972-87), had survived the slaughter. It allowed students to study South Asian history (under the late Tapan Raychaudhuri), African history (under Tony Kirk-Greene), Southeast Asian history (with Peter Carey), Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand (an ungainly quadruped that I took over from Colin Newbury) and Latin American history (until the untimely death of Christopher Platt). These strands were held together (in theory at least) by instruction on the general history of European expansion and the contemporary debate on the rights and wrongs of empire and exploitation. The second bright spot was the Special Subject on the critical phase of British rule in India between 1917 and 1931, which attracted many students to a topic at whose centre lay the enigmatic and fascinating figure of Gandhi. It was certainly an enjoyable, if demanding, subject to teach tutorially. Thirdly, at the graduate level, there were twenty to twenty-five new research students each year to be supervised by what was then a very small handful of Faculty teachers with interests in the non-Western world. This allowed (or compelled) one to supervise simultaneously doctoral theses on the Falkland Islands, the Caribbean, South Africa, the Middle East, India, Malaya, Australia, New Zealand, and China. Quite what it was like to be on the receiving end of such ‘jack-of-all-trades’ supervision, it would be indelicate to ask. But for myself as the supervisor it was gloriously interesting and instructive.

darwin north african astrolabe

Encouraged by undergraduate interest in the Further and Indian Special Subjects, Peter Carey (then Tutorial Fellow at Trinity College) and I decided to launch a new general history paper at the end of the ‘eighties, titled ‘Europe and the Wider World, 1750-1914’. The paper was designed to expose students to the bigger themes of European expansion and the resistance to it, including imperial rivalries, the economic impact of colonialism, slavery, race, missionary enterprise and early anti-colonial nationalist movements. But students were also required to engage with the historiography of at least two extra-European regions – South, or Southeast Asia, East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa or Latin America – and to study their history from a local rather than a Western perspective. We were able to call on a range of expertise, from both inside and outside the Faculty, to lecture, while Peter and I provided jointly-taught tutorial classes. ‘Europe and the Wider World’ later metamorphosed into its current incarnation as ‘Imperial and Global History, 1750-1914’. Meanwhile the arrival of Judith Brown as Beit Professor of Commonwealth History had encouraged the revision of the Indian Special to take more account of the social history of South Asia, not least the history of gender.

In the world beyond Oxford, empire was coming back into fashion. In part this was because of the exuberant reaction of some commentators to the end of the Cold War and the coming era (as it seemed) of American primacy. ‘Empire’ began to be bandied about both by those who welcomed and those who feared America’s global hegemony. In the academic world, empire’s revival reflected the intellectual influence of Edward Said’s Orientalism, first published in 1978. Said’s book re-focussed attention away from economic exploitation, which had pre-occupied critics of imperialism until the 1970s, and towards empire’s cultural impact. For Said and his followers the very language with which Europeans had described their imperial subjects was shot through with disparaging concepts and the rhetoric of contempt. Hence the records of imperial rule, the accounts of travellers, and all the documentation that reported on the encounter between Europeans and non-European ‘others’, had to be read ‘against the grain’ of European prejudice, whose conscious or unconscious purpose was to justify domination. It was not necessary to endorse every aspect of Said’s polemic against cultural imperialism to recognise the power of his insight and the way in which it could widen and deepen the history of empire. A mass of new topics now entered the agenda of the imperial historian: the construction of social identity by coloniser and colonised; their differing notions of crime and punishment; the management of household, family, gender roles and sexual morality in colonial societies; the creation and constriction of the colonial ‘public sphere’ – among others. In these fields at least, it was clear that the constitutional transfer of power – the formal end of colonial rule – was of limited significance. Indeed, the logic of Said’s critique was that the ‘political’ decolonisation of the 1950s and 1960s was not the end of the matter. Empire lived on in its ‘deforming’ effects on post-colonial cultures and in the memories and sympathies of post-imperial nations, especially in their racial attitudes.

darwin global history1

Both research and teaching in Oxford responded to this new alertness to the enduring impact of empire and its wider social and cultural effects ‘at home’ as well as in colonial societies. In the early 2000’s, empire history was further re-energised by the arrival of ‘global history’. Global history might have begun as a response to the onset of late twentieth-century globalisation. But it quickly expanded into the attempt to explain why Asia and Europe had experienced a reversal of fortune between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, creating a ‘great divergence’ in living standards and wealth. It was obvious that some part of the answer could be found in the economic organization of empires, both European and Asian, early modern and modern. And even more obvious that the European empires, Britain’s in particular, had been key agents of nineteenth-century globalisation, enforcing a version that suited their interests. It followed that global history and imperial history had to be studied together, and that the history of empire made little sense without a global context. It was with this conviction that the late and much-missed Jan-Georg Deutsch and I reinvented the by-then somewhat quaint sounding Masters in ‘Commonwealth History’ as ‘Global and Imperial History’, with dramatic effects on the numbers of applicants. It is now one of the most competitive Masters’ courses the Faculty offers. Then in 2011, Chris Wickham, as Faculty Board Chair, secured a substantial start-up grant to found the Oxford Centre for Global History whose activities reflect the distinctively close connection between global and imperial history in Oxford.

A fresh challenge awaits. History in Oxford needs to take account of the growing diversity of the student body, graduate and undergraduate alike, and of British society as a whole. Empire and colonialism have acquired a new salience, and the ways in which their history is taught a new sensitivity. That should not discourage us: far from it. For some historians, certainly, empire must be understood chiefly as a great crime against subjected peoples, to be documented in detail ‘lest we forget’. This must be an important part of the story. But the history of empire has other claims on our attention as well. We now recognise that empires have been a universal phenomenon throughout world history, in Asia, Africa and the Americas ‘before Europe’. Some like the Ottoman, Qing or Ethiopian empires long coexisted with European colonialism. There is much more to be learned about their everyday workings in a huge variety of cultural, environmental and geopolitical settings. That may also help us understand what made the Western version distinctive. We have not yet exhausted the question of how empire shaped and re-shaped societies at home, in Britain especially. Nor, finally, should we assume that the age of empires is over: in some parts of the world they are as strong as ever, and we need to understand their practice and ideology. History can help here too. Imaginatively researched and intelligently taught, empire history will continue to be an indispensable part of historical education for a long time to come.

– John Darwin

My current research is into the role of the great port cities of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (including Montreal, New Orleans, Capetown, Calcutta, Singapore, Hong Kong) in shaping the growth not only of a new global economy, but also of the exchange of ideas and the different visions of modernity that accompanied the earlier phases of globalisation.

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Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald & Chris Hedges on NSA Leaks, Assange & Protecting a Free Internet

Democracy Now! Dec 23, 2021

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Glenn Greenwald and Chris Hedges discuss mass surveillance, government secrecy, Internet freedom and U.S. attempts to extradite and prosecute Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. They spoke together on a panel moderated by Amy Goodman at the virtual War on Terror film festival after a screening of “Citizenfour” — the Oscar-winning documentary about Snowden by Laura Poitras. #DemocracyNow Democracy

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The Belmarsh Tribunal D.C. — The Case of Julian Assange

Democracy Now! Streamed live on Jan 20, 2023

Democracy Now! is livestreaming the Belmarsh Tribunal from Washington, D.C. The event will feature expert testimony from journalists, whistleblowers, lawyers, publishers and parliamentarians on assaults to press freedom and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Watch here live at 2 p.m. ET on Friday, January 20.

Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman and Srecko Horvat, the co-founder of DiEM25, will chair the tribunal, which is being organized by Progressive International and the Wau Holland Foundation.

0:00 – Introductions

15:33 – Ben Wizner, lead attorney at ACLU of Edward Snowden

21:20 – Jeffrey Sterling, lawyer and former CIA employee

29:05 – Katrina vanden Heuvel, editorial director and publisher, The Nation

32:35 – Margaret Kunstler, civil rights attorney

39:09 – Stefania Maurizi, investigative journalist, Il Fatto Quotidiano

47:20 – Jeremy Corbyn, member of U.K. Parliament and founder of the Peace and Justice Project

56:16 – Steven Donziger, human rights attorney

1:05:19 – Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor-in-chief, WikiLeaks

1:17:12 – Jesselyn Radack, national security and human rights attorney

1:25:07 – Chip Gibbons, policy director of Defending Rights & Dissent

1:31:45 – Kevin Gosztola, managing editor of Shadowproof

1:38:45 – John Shipton, father of Julian Assange

1:50:19 – Betty Medsger, investigative reporter

2:01:20 – Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower

2:09:50 – Suchitra Vijayan, writer, photographer & activist

2:15:56 – Noam Chomsky, linguist and activist

2:18:42 – Final remarks

2:22:03 – Roger Waters performance

Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs on over 1,500 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream at https://democracynow.org Mondays to Fridays 8-9 a.m. ET.

The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time: Karl Polanyi

In this classic work of economic history and social theory, Karl Polanyi analyzes the economic and social changes brought about by the “great transformation” of the Industrial Revolution. His analysis explains not only the deficiencies of the self-regulating market, but the potentially dire social consequences of untempered market capitalism. New introductory material reveals the renewed importance of Polanyi’s seminal analysis in an era of globalization and free trade.


As the Second World War was drawing to a close in 1944, two great works of political economy were published. One was Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, the driving force behind the free-market revolution in the final quarter of the twentieth century. The other was Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation. . . . [It] is well worth reading. -Larry Elliott, The Guardian

“[The Great Transformation] did more than any work of that generation to broaden and deepen the critique of market societies.”-John Buell, The Progressive

About the Author

Karl Polanyi (1886-1964) is considered one of the twentieth century’s most discerning economic historians. He left his position as senior editor of Vienna’s leading financial and economic weekly in 1933, became a British citizen, taught adult extension programs for Oxford and London Universities, and held visiting chairs at Bennington College and Columbia University. He is co-author of Christianity and the Social Revolution; author of The Great Transformation; Trade and Market in Early Empires (with C.Arnsberg and H.Pearson) and posthumously, Dahomey and the Slave Trade (with A.Rotstein).

Joseph E. Stiglitz was formerly chair of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors, and chief economist of the World Bank. He is professor of economics at Stanford University, and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Fred Block is professor of sociology at the University of California, Davis.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Beacon Press; 2nd ed. edition (March 28, 2001)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 360 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 080705643X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0807056431
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.03 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches

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Fred Block: The Tenacity of the Free Market Ideology

New Economic Thinking Sep 24, 2014

Fred Block discusses his book “The Power of Market Fundamentalism,” which extends the work of the great political economist Karl Polanyi to explain why free market dogma recovered from disrepute after the Great Depression and World War II to become the dominant economic ideology of our time.

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