The Myth of the American Frontier Still Shapes U.S. Racial Divides

J.M. Opal, McGill University When Americans study their 19th-century history, they tend to look at its great conflicts, especially the epic clash over slavery. They are less likely to recall its broad areas of agreement. But what if those agreements are still shaping the present? What if Americans are still coping with their effects? The…

The British Council’s Mandela Exhibition: History or Corporate Whitewash?

The “Mandela and Me” exhibition at the British Council in London marks the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth in 1918. The exhibition is sponsored by Anglo American, the mining giant that was the biggest corporation in South Africa during apartheid and has, since 1999, been headquartered in London.

Germany’s Heated Asylum Debate Has Dark Parallels To Events 30 Years Ago

It was a moment that has defined Angel Merkel’s chancellorship of Germany ever since. In early September 2015, she allowed thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq to enter Germany. Merkel promised her people that Germany would be able to handle the growing influx of asylum seekers, but her decision provoked a storm…

How Unearthing Queensland’s ‘Native Police’ Camps Gives Us a Window Onto Colonial Violence

In 19th century Queensland, the Native Mounted Police were responsible for “dispersing” (a euphemism for systematic killing) Aboriginal people. This government-funded paramilitary force operated from 1849 (prior to Queensland’s separation from New South Wales) until 1904. It grew to have an expansive reach throughout the state, with camps established in strategic locations along the ever-expanding…