NEW YORK, NY, June 13, 2018 – The National Association of Scholars (NAS) has re-published the most controversial academic article of the last few years, “The Case for Colonialism,” by Portland State University Bruce Gilley. A torrent of protest, including death threats, followed the initial publication of the article in Third World Quarterly in 2017.
The NAS has re-published “The Case for Colonialism” to ensure that it will be permanently available to students, scholars, and the general public.
Gilley’s article had undergone double-blind peer review before it was first published, but it aroused immediate fury. More than 16,000 people around the world petitioned to have the article censored. They also demanded that Third World Quarterly apologize and the editor be fired. Fifteen members of the journal’s thirty-four-member editorial board also resigned in objection to the article. Initially the publisher stood its ground, but after receiving serious threats of violence against the editor, the publisher withdrew the article. Gilley, the author, was also personally and professionally attacked and received death threats.
“The efforts to censor Bruce Gilley’s article and the attacks on him personally were outrageous,” said NAS President Peter Wood. “Gilley published a well-reasoned and humane perspective on the political and economic challenges that face many Third World nations. Anyone who actually reads the article will see his thoughtful tone and good will.”
“But we live in a time when many in the academic world believe they have the right to prevent the expression of views they disagree with,” Wood continued. “The actions of those who sought to suppress Gilley’s article demonstrate this. The intolerance and anti-intellectualism displayed in this instance reached a new extreme. The NAS is pleased to restore this important article to its legitimate place in academic debate.”
NAS is a network of scholars and citizens united by a commitment to academic freedom, disinterested scholarship, and excellence in American higher education. Membership in NAS is open to all who share a commitment to these broad principles. NAS publishes a journal and has state and regional affiliates. Visit NAS at www.nas.org.
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