Stanford HUGE History Conference Scandal: Is It Too White, Too Male?

4 years ago



Stanford is in the middle of a scandal because of a history conference held on the university terrain in early March. The blow-up was propelled by a tweet slamming the  conference as “too white, too male.” The history professor at Howard University in Washington, Ana Lucia Araujo, posted the faces of 30 conference participants who unexpectedly were all white men!

"ALL-MALE HISTORY CONFERENCE. This goes for the GUINNESS BOOK of the century! A team of 30 white male historians will discuss Applied History at @Stanford. What a shame." 

Niall Ferguson, the conservative British historian, who happens to be the organizer of the event, was taken aback by this belated attack. The history conference had been held on March 2-3 with a dozen sessions which indeed included male-only participants. This is not the first time Mr. Ferguson has found himself in the middle of a controversy. Previously, he had to apologize for his judgment of John Maynard Keynes for being gay and having no kids. Apparently, it’s getting more serious now.

Stanford History Conference: Misogynist or Not?  

In his defense, Mr. Ferguson said he had invited three female historians to participate in the conference. However, all except one said they couldn’t attend because of other obligations. As for the diversity issue, it has to be said, there is plenty of women in the history department. Unlike other male-dominated fields like science and technology, history has a healthy amount of women in it.

Turns out, the Stanford history department did not have a clue of the conference arrangement and line up. Learning the details two days before the actual event is making the whole thing look even more suspicious. The vice president for communications at Stanford, Lisa Lapin, said the university “had encouraged the organizers to take additional steps in the future” in favor of more diversity. Only 20 out of the 87 guests were women.

Eventually, Mr. Ferguson had to apologize saying he is reproaching himself for “not knowing [female historians] and not having done more to get to know them.”  Unsure of the outcome he added that “perhaps the result will instead be a boycott of future events” organized by him.

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