Philosopher Attributes Job Loss To Challenging White Hegemony (updated)

Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman, a research associate with a term appointment at University College London, is claiming that his contract was not renewed “because his plans to ‘put white hegemony under the microscope’ were considered too much of a challenge to white-dominated academia,” according to an article in The Independent.

Coleman,  who crosses out his surname to “highlight the stigmatising expressive meaning” of the “badge” given to his forebears by slave owners, said his proposals for a new black studies MA were opposed by University College London  colleagues seeking something less critical of the white Establishment. UCL has postponed plans for the new MA and with no course to teach, he will be out of a job when his fixed-term contract at the philosophy department expires in October.

The academic, who has a double first in greats from Oxford University, said that he became just one of five black philosophy academics in UK universities when he joined UCL as Britain’s first research associate in the philosophy of “race” in October 2013. His new MA, he claimed, would have upset some in white-dominated academia.

UCL officials dispute Coleman‘s claims about his contract.  Jonathan Wolff, who is on the philosophy faculty there and is also dean of arts and humanities, said of the MA program Coleman proposed: “Unfortunately, the proposal was rejected because it became apparent that UCL is not yet ready to offer a strong programme in this area.”

UPDATE 1 (5/23/15): Jonathan Wolff provides further information in a comment (number 8) below.

UPDATE 2 (5/23/15): Dr. Coleman has made his proposal available to view here.

UPDATE 3 (5/24/15): Eric Schliesser comments on the “narrowness” of Coleman‘s proposal. And here’s more about the history of eugenics at UCL. From the Equality Challenge Unit, here is research on the experience of black and minority ethnic staff in higher education in England and on how to encourage them to stay in higher education.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please enter an e-mail address