by Brian on April 18, 2012

I’m very pleased that my employer, the University of Michigan, has joined “Coursera”: The aim of Coursera is to provide free, online courses of something approaching university quality, to everyone. Right now it hosts courses from Penn, Stanford, Princeton, and UM-Ann Arbor, with possibly more schools to be added soon.
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Skeletons in the imperial attic

by Chris Bertram on April 18, 2012

Today’s Guardian has a series of articles today concerning Britain’s colonial past and evidence of the “widespread destruction of documents”: with evidence of crimes against humanity by British forces. Other pieces include material on “planned poison gas tests in Botswana”: , on the “coverup of the deportation of the Chagos islanders from Diego Garcia”: (now used by the United States to bomb various countries), and of “serious war crimes during the Malayan emergency”: . And then there are “eighteen striking photographs”: of the British at work in Kenya, Malaya and Aden . The Aden photographs in particular call to mind similar later ones of British troops in Northern Ireland, where of course, torture was also employed: the techniques used on colonial populations being brought to bear against Irish republicans. And, of course, the look on the faces of the soldiers as they manhandle and abuse “natives” is really no different from what we see in pictures of the French in Algeria, of American troops in Iraq and, indeed, in footage of the Israeli Defense Force in the occupied territories. A timely reminder of the evils of imperialism and colonialism.