February 17, 1982
As part of the Festival of Third World Arts and Culture, a two-part symposium on “Imperialism: Its Implications for Race and Culture in the 19th and 20th Centuries,” featured African history specialist Philip D. Curtin of Johns Hopkins, Professor Herbert Klein of Columbia—who spoke on Latin America—and Professor Chang-tu Hu of Columbia—who spoke on Asia. The president of the American Historical Association, Professor Curtin, said Julie Kaufman '85, cited "three major ideas which concur with the development of imperialism...capitalism and its impact on lesser developed countries, development of European technology...during the Industrial Revolution and the notion of European countries as conquerors.... Once Europeans had conquered a country, they created a set of idea as to how they should regulate the country. 'This theory of empire,' Curtin said, 'included racism as a fundamental attitude.'"
Declaring imperialism as "a historically modern phenomenon, which can be manifested in racial prejudices," Professor Hu opened the symposium's second session, explaining that "'there were three Gs which drew Europeans to Asia during this period of industrialization....' These are: 1) the lure of Gold, 20 the increased flocking of missionaries to Asia in order to bring God to these poor souls and 3) the idea of National Glory, which was incorporated in the conquering of...underdeveloped countries." Imperialism in Latin America, said Professor Klein, took a unique form, drawn from "Latin American Indian cultures...based of class ranking." White conquerors "would set up an indirect rule over the group of Indians. Racism was very pervasive during the nineteenth century. The elite, white Creoles began to destroy the autonomy of local Indian communities.... In conclusion, Klein hypothesized that one reason for the prevalance of racsim was the human need for definition in society." The Miscellany News