The online publication of a book by Cambridge University scholars has provoked fury on social media, with many questioning the authors gender, race and national origin.
The book by Dr Alyssa Molnar, published in June, explores a century of Cambridge’s history from the 18th to the 20th centuries and explores the roles of women, men and people of colour.
It has been criticised for including material that has no bearing on the subject of gender or race, and also for excluding students who are not native English speakers.
But the book has attracted criticism for its gender, racial and national origins claims, with some of its comments being labelled racist and sexist.
The controversial title, ‘Cambridge Scholars Publishing’, has been the subject the Twitter hashtag #CambridgeScores since it was published.
Dr Molnars book is published by the Cambridge Scholars Publishing Society.
It features the Cambridge scholars’ view of the history of Cambridge from the time of the Cambridge Union in 1688 until it became the University of Cambridge in 1858, and then on to the present day.
It is entitled The Cambridge Scholars: A Century of Cambridge History, edited by Dr Mœlnar, who is a lecturer in English and European history at Cambridge.
‘I have never intended to offend anyone in particular.
I am a scholar who has been privileged to study in Cambridge and have lived there for most of my life.’
I have no idea why this has been labelled racist, sexist or otherwise and I apologise if anyone has been offended.
‘This is my work and I feel honoured and proud to have the privilege to contribute to this history.’
Cambridge University students who did not agree with the book’s content have been able to express their opinion by using the hashtag #cambridgescores.
Dr Sian Wigglesworth, a Cambridge University student, wrote: ‘I think it is offensive and insulting to people who have never travelled abroad, who are from different backgrounds and have different cultural perspectives.
‘It is offensive to people from ethnic minority backgrounds and to those from working class backgrounds.
‘Camden Scholars Publishing does not seem to recognise the difference between a history of a community and a history that is written and researched by a select group of scholars who are part of a political elite.
‘If the Cambridge society wants to be a legitimate academic institution then it needs to recognise that the Cambridge community is the history that it is.’
Professor Molnaries book is not the only controversial publication.
Professor Andrew Latham, chair of the School of International Studies, at University College London, wrote on Twitter: ‘There is no way to be offended by this book.
Its a book of lies and bias.’
Other commentators, however, disagreed, with one saying: ‘Cambarks book is a masterpiece of historical revisionism.
It shows a deep ignorance of the real Cambridge history.
‘Its an open letter from the Cambridge Scholar Publishing Society to the Oxford scholars.
‘In a word: a classic example of racist,sexist,bigotry.’
‘Its not that you cant read history and its not that its racist but its that you dont think its history that should matter.’
Professor Richard Loughan, professor of political science at the University and chair of Cambridge Scholars publishing society, wrote in a blog post: ‘This book is written by an Oxford scholar, and it is based on the work of many Cambridge scholars who have studied, lived and worked in Cambridge.
This book is an insult to those who have lived in Cambridge, and many of whom have not.
‘The book is entitled A Century and a Half of Cambridge and is written in a way that does not address the real issues that Cambridge scholars have to deal with, which is why I am deeply disappointed.
‘As I said before, I think that the Oxford scholarship has had a strong influence on the history, and I think it has done a good job of presenting the Cambridge experience in a balanced way.
‘That is why, for instance, there is a very fine chapter on the origins of the city and its economy, which I agree with.’
The controversy was sparked after Dr Mowls book was published on the Oxford Society’s website.
She has said it is not a racist, and said it highlights the Cambridge history of diversity.
‘We want to show that Cambridge’s diversity is not just confined to its racial and ethnic diversity, but that it extends to the socio-economic diversity that we all have, that is the diversity that you can find in the university.
‘So, when it comes to racial and ethnical diversity, I would say it is more important to be able to live in the UK, to be in the majority, to have a place to live.
‘Of course, there are certain things that Cambridge has in common with the UK that are not shared by Cambridge, such as the presence of many different ethnicities and religions, and that has implications for our universities, as well as our society.’
The issue has