Meet the academics behind the Rhodes boycott

Meet the academics behind the Rhodes boycott
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On Wednesday it was revealed that 150 Oxford academics are boycotting Oriel College and refusing to teach its students in protest at its decision to keep the Cecil Rhodes statue. Steerpike has been sent a copy of the letter – which sets out the academics' collective view that 'Oriel College's decision not to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes undermines us all' – and a full list of the co-signatories, republished here for the first time.

Reading through, Mr S was struck by the number of proud imperialists who gave their names to posts currently held by the anti-Rhodes protesters. Given their objection to 'Oriel's stubborn attachment to a statue that glorifies colonialism and the wealth it produced for the College,' Steerpike wondered whether if having such titles can be considered consistent with fervent anti-colonial activities.

Danny Dorling, for instance, is the Halford Mackinder professor of geography at St Peter's College, Oxford – a post named after the European expeditioner who was suspected of killing eight porters on a trip to climb Mount Kenya in 1899. Mackinder also coined the term 'manpower,' a gender-normative term that seems unlikely to find much favour with the right-on protesters. 

At least three of the co-signers – Dan Hodgkinson, Agnieszka Kościańska and Zoe Cormack – are all either Leverhulme early career fellows or visiting professors. These posts are named after industrialist William Lever, an enthusiastic imperialist whose Lever Brothers firm was associated with the forced labour and atrocities in the Belgian Congo. 

Another academic, Phillip Rothwell, is King John II Professor of Portuguese, a title named of course after the fifteenth century monarch who stabbed his brother-in-law to death and revived his nation's imperial expeditionary dreams.

Ringleader Kate Tunstall meanwhile is head of the self-styled 'People's Republic of Worcester College;' an interim provost who emailed students last month to congratulate them on attending a pro-Palestine event. She is also the Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones fellow; a post named after the British businessman who made his money as L'Oréal chairman and who was embroiled in the ‘Bettencourt Affair’ after receiving a secret gift of 100 million euros. 

L'Oréal itself was founded by Eugène Schueller, who prospered during the Nazi occupation of France and was widely reported to be an antisemitic fascist himself, with the company maintaining its headquarters on confiscated Jewish land in Germany until 1991 including during Owen-Jones' tenure at the helm.

Steerpike wonders if the Rhodes' iconoclasts will extend to rescinding their own titles in order to 'address the ongoing effects of colonialism today.' You can read the full list of names below.

Sneha Krishnan (Associate Professor in Human Geography, Brasenose College)

Kate Tunstall (Professor of French, Worcester College)

Miles Larmer (Professor of African History, St. Antony’s College)

Simukai Chigudu (Associate Professor of African Politics, St. Antony’s College)

Amber Murrey (Associate Professor of Human Geography, Mansfield College)

Anna Lora Wainwright (Professor of the Human Geography of China, St. Cross College)

Mihika Chatterjee (Departmental Lecturer, ODID, Wolfson College)

Jocelyn Alexander (Professor of Commonwealth Studies, Linacre College)

Dan Hodgkinson (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, ODID, Green Templeton College)

Debbie Hopkins (Associate Professor of Human Geography, Kellogg College)

Idalina Baptista (Associate Professor in Urban Anthropology, Kellogg College)

Nayanika Mathur (Associate Professor in the Anthropology of South Asia, Wolfson College)

Simon Park (Associate Professor of Portuguese, St Anne’s College)

Robert Gildea (Professor Emeritus of Modern History, Worcester College)

Danny Dorling (Professor of Human Geography, St Peter’s College)

Cheryl R. Doss (Associate Professor and Senior Departmental Lecturer, ODID)

Richard Reid (Professor of African History, St Cross College)

Laurent Mignon (Associate Professor of Turkish, St Antony’s College)

Dan Hicks (Professor of Contemporary Archaeology, St Cross College)

Elizabeth Frazer, Associate Professor of Politics, New College

Niall Winters (Professor of Education and Technology, Kellogg College)

Phillip Rothwell, (King John II Professor of Portuguese)

Sophie Smith (Associate Professor of Political Theory, University College)

Kate Sullivan de Estrada (Associate Professor in the International Relations of South Asia, St Antony’s College)

Loren B Landau (Professor, Migration and Development, Wolfson College)

Robin Cohen (Professor Emeritus of Development Studies, Kellogg College)

Faridah Zaman (Associate Professor of History, Somerville College)

Alexander Geurds (Associate Professor, School of Archaeology / Wolfson College)

Jamie M. Lachman (Senior Research Officer, Department of Social Policy & Intervention)

Melissa McCarthy (Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Physics)

Alexander Weide (Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Archaeology)

Hanno Brankamp (Departmental Lecturer in Forced Migration, Refugee Studies Centre)

Dan Healey (Professor of Modern Russian History, St Antony’s College)

Agnieszka Kościańska (Leverhulme Visiting Professor, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies)

Patricia M. Thornton (Associate Professor of Politics, Department of Politics and International Relations)

Nick Barton (Professor of Palaeolithic Archaeology, Hertford College)

Luke Jostins-Dean (Sir Henry Dale Fellow, Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology and Christ Church)

Aaron Reeves (Associate Professor, Department of Social Policy and Intervention)

Anna Plyushteva (Departmental Research Lecturer, School of Geography & the Environment)

Francesca Lessa (Departmental Lecturer, ODID & OSGA, St Antony’s College)

Stuart West (Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Department of Zoology)

Liam Shaw (Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Zoology)

Lucy Taylor (Junior Research Fellow, Christ Church college/ Department of Zoology)

Tom White (Stipendiary Lecturer in English, Mansfield College)

Elizabeth Frood (Associate Professor of Egyptology, Faculty of Oriental Studies/St Cross College)

Maya Krishnan (Examination Fellow, All Souls College)

Tom Higham (Professor of Archaeological Science, Keble College)

Ben Goodair (Research Assistant, Department of Social Policy and Intervention)

Michael Mayo (Fellow and Equalities Officer, Worcester College)

Portia Roelofs (Junior Research Fellow in Politics, St Anne’s College)

Margaret Hillenbrand (Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, Wadham College)

Jakob Dirksen (Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, Department of International Development)

Paul Betts (Professor of Modern European History, St Antony’s College)

Sloan Mahone (Associate Professor in the History of Medicine, St Cross College)

Claudio Sillero (Professor of Conservation Biology, Department of Zoology)

Kathrin Bachleitner (Junior Research Fellow in International Relations, Lady Margaret Hall)

Paul Wordsworth (Wainwright Research Fellow, Faculty of Oriental Studies/School of Archaeology, Brasenose College)

Jennifer Oliver (Departmental Lecturer, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, Worcester College)

Martin J. Williams (Associate Professor in Public Management, Green Templeton College)

Ace North (Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Zoology)

Nicholas Dickinson (Bingham Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Balliol College)

Annie Sutherland (Associate Professor of English, Somerville College)

Morten Kringelbach (Professor, Universities of Oxford and Aarhus)

Sudhir Hazareesingh, Fellow and Tutor in Politics, Balliol College

Karma Nabulsi, Fellow and Tutor in Politics, St Edmund Hall

Talya Hackett (Postdoctoral researcher and project coordinator, Department of Zoology)

Kirsten Macfarlane (Associate Professor of Early Modern Christianities, Keble)

Anne Irfan (Departmental Lecturer, Refugee Studies Centre, ODID)

Alexandra Reza (Junior Research Fellow in French, Trinity College)

Peter Brooke (Departmental Lecturer in Global History)

Lucas Tse (Examination Fellow, All Souls College)

Elizabeth Eva Leach (Professor of Music, St Hugh’s College)

Nikita Sud (Associate Professor of Development Studies, Wolfson College)

Marchella Ward (Tinsley Outreach Fellow, Worcester College)

Zoe Cormack (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies)

Maya Jagus (NDCN)

Vivian Luciani-Pedersen (Student Information Officer, AAD)

Dilar Dirik (Junior Research Fellow, Lady Margaret Hall, Refugee Studies Centre)

Catherine Briddick (Departmental Lecturer, Refugee Studies Centre, ODID)

Amogh Dhar Sharma (Departmental Lecturer, OSGA, St. Antony’s College)

Alessandro Iandolo (Departmental Lecturer, DPIR, St Catherine’s College)

Evan Easton-Calabria (Senior Research Officer, Refugee Studies Centre, ODID)

Cory Rodgers (Senior Researcher, Refugee Studies Centre, ODID)

James McDougall (Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, Trinity College)

Olly Owen (Departmental Lecturer in Social Anthropology/St Anne’s College)

Chris Gosden (Professor of European Archaeology, Keble College)

Jane Barlow (Professor of EBSIPE, DSPI)

Richard Wade (Royal Society URF, Mathematical Institute)

Tom Scott-Smith (Associate Professor of Refugee Studies, St. Cross College)

Sarah Cleary (Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Chemistry)

Matthias Dilling (Departmental Lecturer in Comparative Politics, Department of Politics and International Relations)

Benjamin Chrisinger (Associate Professor, Department of Social Policy and Intervention)

Zuzanna Olszewska (Associate Professor in the Social Anthropology of the Middle East, SAME/St. John’s College)

David Mills (Associate Professor, Department of Education)

Julia Viebach (Departmental Lecturer in African Studies, OSGA)

Katherine Ibbett (Professor of French, Trinity College)

Carl Müller-Crepon (Departmental Lecturer, Department of Politics and International Relations & St. Hilda’s College)

Yota Batsaki The Botany of Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century (Senior Fellow in Economics; Worcester College)

Ramon Sarró (School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography - St Antony’s College)

Jennie Middleton (Senior Research Fellow, School of Geography and the Environment)

Wale Adebanwi (African Studies Centre/St Antony’s College)

Jacob McKnight (Nuffield Department of Medicine)

Paula Sheppard (School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography - St Antony’s College)

Elisa Granato (Research Fellow, Department of Zoology, Department of Biochemistry)

Rafael Custodio (Postdoctoral Researcher, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology)

Anton van der Merwe (Director of Graduate Studies, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology)

Charlotte Melia (Postdoctoral Researcher, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology)

Abul Tarafder (Postdoctoral Researcher, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology)

Adam Grieve (Postdoctoral Researcher, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology)

Kevin Marsh (Professor of Tropical Medicine, Director Africa Oxford Initiative)

Andreza Aruska de Souza Santos (Departmental Lecturer, Latin American Centre)

Paul Metz (Clinical Fellow Researcher, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology)

Mirvat Surakhy (Postoctoral Reseracher, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology)

Ben Cooper (Professor of Epidemiology, Nuffield Department of Medicine)

Mohamed-Salah Omri (Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature, St John’s College)

Mathias Uller Rothmann (Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Physics)

Ndjodi Ndeunyema (Modern Law Review Early Career Research Fellow, Faculty of Law)

Anjali Shah (Epidemiologist, NDORMS & Wolfson College)

Sally Cowley (University Research Lecturer, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology)

Helena Cantone (Independent Researcher, SOAS, University of London)

Gascia Ouzounian (Associate Professor of Music, Lady Margaret Hall)

Javier Lezaun (Associate Professor, School of Anthropology – Kellogg College)

Johannes G. M. Rack (Postdoctoral Researcher, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology)

Vicki Marsh (Associate Professor Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine)

Bo Hu (Language Instructor in Chinese, Institute for Chinese Studies)

Anke Hein (Associate Professor, School of Archaeology, St Hugh’s)

Philip Bejon (Director KEMRI-Wellcome, NDM)

George Warimwe (Associate Professor of Vaccinology, Nuffield Department of Medicine)

Melissa Kapulu (Postdoctoral Researcher, Nuffield Department of Medicine)

Miles Tendi (Associate Professor of Politics, Department of Politics and International Relations)

Caroline Jones (Associate Professor, Anthropology, Nuffield Department of Medicine)

Maureen Kelley (Professor of Bioethics, Ethox Centre, Nuffield Department of Population Health)

Sebastian Fuller (Senior Postdoctoral Researcher, Nuffield Department of Medicine)

Nandini Gooptu (Associate Professor, Oxford Department of International Development)

Bethan Linscott (Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Archaeology)

Gwen Burnyeat (Junior Research Fellow in Anthropology, Merton College)

Imogen Goold (Associate Professor, Faculty of Law and St Anne’s College)

Thomas Cousins (Associate Professor, School of Anthropology and St Hugh’s College)

Elizabeth Ewart (Associate Professor, School of Anthropology and Linacre College)

Rachael Kiddey, British Academy postdoc, School of Archaeology and St Antony’s College

Anne Makena (Program Coordinator, Africa Oxford Initiative)

Isang Awah (Department of Social Policy and Intervention)

Caroline Batten (Stipendiary Lecturer in Medieval English, Trinity College/St Edmund Hall)

Eli Harriss (Knowledge Centre Manager & Outreach Librarian, Bodleian Health Care Libraries)

Derek McCormack (Professor of Cultural Geography, School of Geography and the Environment and Mansfield College)

Aparna John (Programme Manager, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, Department of International Development)

Celine Caillet (Research scientist, Medicine quality research group, Nuffield Department of Medicine)

Laura Fortunato (Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, Magdalen College)

Diego Sánchez-Ancochea (Professor of the Political Economy of Development, ODID/OSGA)

Leigh A Payne (Professor of Sociology and Latin America, St Antony’s College)

Caroline Warman (Professor of French Literature and Thought, Jesus College)

Aris Katzourakis (Professor of Evolution and Genomics, Department of Zoology)

Alun Davies (Postdoctoral Researcher, Nuffield Department of Medicine)

Maxim Bolt (Associate Professor of Development Studies, ODID and St Anne’s College)

Katrina Palmer (Associate Professor, Ruskin School of Art and Lady Margaret Hall)

Ian Loader (Professor of Criminology, Law Faculty, Fellow All Souls College)

Maria Christodoulou (Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Statistics)

Sondra Hausner (Professor of Anthropology of Religion, St. Peter’s College)

David K. Humphreys (Associate Professor, Department of Social Policy and Intervention)

Rossella Ciccia (Associate Professor, Department of Social Policy and Intervention)

Rachel Fraser (Associate Professor of Philosophy, Exeter College)

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to

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