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John Maynard Keynes


  • Originally published 05/14/2013

    Niall Ferguson Meets with Students; Harvard Faculty Clarify Stance

    Credit: Flickr.UPDATE 12:13PM: David Armitage, chair of the Harvard history department, wrote in an email to Inside Higher Ed that the department requested a "post in the modern history of gender and sexuality (jointly with Harvard's program in women and gender studies) long before the recent debate arose." He also pointed to the work of Afsaneh Najmabadi, Nancy Cott, and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich as an example of Harvard's pre-existing strength in the field of gender and sexuality studies.Historian Niall Ferguson, in an attempt to blunt criticism of his recent controversial remarks about John Maynard Keynes's sexuality, spoke on Monday to students at a lunchtime panel at the Harvard College Women's Center.

  • Originally published 05/13/2013

    Committee on LGBT History calls for Harvard to hire tenure-track LGBT historian

    Don Romesburg, co-chair of the Committee on LGBT History, issued the following statement today in reaction to HNN coverage of the Niall Ferguson controversy:[Niall] Ferguson's subsequent attempts to clarify his statement unfortunately show little more understanding of the history of sexuality than his initial comment did. The Committee on LGBT History encourages him to consulting the field’s extensive scholarship, much of which our members have written, to avoid echoing unfounded and discriminatory stereotypes and to deepen his understanding and analysis of the LGBT past. Harvard should show leadership here by, at a minimum, hosting a major conference about LGBT history and encouraging Ferguson to attend. It is also high time that Harvard makes a new tenure-track hire in LGBT history. The incident has underscored the value of teaching and researching LGBT histories. This confronts ignorance about LGBT people, lives, and communities, and in the process, builds a more accurate historical record overall.

  • Originally published 05/13/2013

    Niall Ferguson's Harvard Colleagues Support Him, but Not LGBT Historians

    Credit: Wiki Commons.UPDATE 3:58PM: Don Romesburg, co-chair of the Committee on LGBT History, issued the following statement on Monday to HNN, calling for Harvard to demonstrate its commitment to taking LGBT history seriously:[Niall] Ferguson's subsequent attempts to clarify his statement unfortunately show little more understanding of the history of sexuality than his initial comment did. The Committee on LGBT History encourages him to consulting the field’s extensive scholarship, much of which our members have written, to avoid echoing unfounded and discriminatory stereotypes and to deepen his understanding and analysis of the LGBT past. Harvard should show leadership here by, at a minimum, hosting a major conference about LGBT history and encouraging Ferguson to attend. It is also high time that Harvard makes a new tenure-track hire in LGBT history. The incident has underscored the value of teaching and researching LGBT histories. This confronts ignorance about LGBT people, lives, and communities, and in the process, builds a more accurate historical record overall.

  • Originally published 05/09/2013

    Reporter of Niall Ferguson's Keynes remarks goes on the record

    Thomas M. Kostigen is coauthor of The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving The Planet One Simple Step at a Time (Three Rivers Press).I was in the audience at the Altegris conference in Carlsbad, Calif., last week when Niall Ferguson, well-known historian, Harvard professor and author, spewed his remarks knocking economist John Maynard Keynes for being homosexual and not having children. Indeed, it was my blog post that drew worldwide attention to the comments. The following day, Ferguson issued an unqualified apology. I thought that was that. But I was wrong.Ferguson issued yesterday an open letter to the Harvard community, explaining himself and qualifying his remarks. He equivocates, and points out that Keynes had said offensive things himself. Ferguson also goes to town on his critics and detractors, and hammers the "blogosphere." Most importantly, he tries to explain how Keynes' homosexuality affected his judgment....

  • Originally published 05/09/2013

    Paul Krugman on Niall Ferguson

    After his Keynesianism-is-gay remarks got him in trouble, Niall Ferguson did the right thing and offered a straightforward, no excuses apology. Unfortunately, it seems that he has reverted to type; sigh.But this does seem to call for an update on a subject I have written about occasionally: the remarkable way in which the Great Recession, by bringing us back into a world of persistent inadequate demand, has unleashed a sort of reign of error among anti-Keynesian economists and pundits. And I’m not talking about the usual Heritage or Cato hacks; I’m talking about people with serious reputations either for research or for seemingly judicious commentary.Oh, and by “error” I don’t mean “views I disagree with”; I mean raw conceptual or empirical banana-peel episodes, the kind of thing that defenders of these men (who have a lot of defenders) try to justify not by claiming that they were right, but by claiming that they didn’t say what they did, in fact, say....

  • Originally published 05/09/2013

    Niall Ferguson publishes open letter in "Harvard Crimson"

    Niall Ferguson is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University.Last week I said something stupid about John Maynard Keynes.  Asked to comment on Keynes’ famous observation “In the long run we are all dead,” I suggested that Keynes was perhaps indifferent to the long run because he had no children, and that he had no children because he was gay. This was doubly stupid. First, it is obvious that people who do not have children also care about future generations. Second, I had forgotten that Keynes’ wife Lydia miscarried.I was duly attacked for my remarks and offered an immediate and unqualified apology. But this did not suffice for some critics, who insisted that I was guilty not just of stupidity but also of homophobia. I have no doubt that at least some students were influenced by these allegations. Nobody would want to study with a bigot. I therefore owe it to students—former and prospective—to make it unambiguously clear that I am no such thing.

  • Originally published 05/07/2013

    Harvard historian apologizes for homophobic remark

    The prominent academic and public intellectual Niall Ferguson posted an “unqualified apology” to his blog Saturday after coming under fire for making seemingly anti-gay remarks at a recent public appearance.Ferguson, a historian at Harvard University and regular contributor to Newsweek, told attendees of the Tenth Annual Altegris Conference in Carlsbad, Calif., that the mid-century British economist John Maynard Keynes “didn’t care about future generations” because “he was a homosexual and was married to a ballerina, with whom he likely talked of ‘poetry’ rather than procreated,” according to a financial journalist who attended the conference....

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Trashing Keynes for Being Gay is Nothing New

    J.M. Keynes (right) and Duncan Grant in 1913.Harvard economic historian Niall Ferguson told a group of financiers and investors last Saturday that John Maynard Keynes was a flawed economist who didn't care about future generations because he was childless and gay.Tom Kostigen, a reporter for Financial Advisor magazine, first reported on the story:Ferguson asked the audience [at the Tenth Annual Altegris Conference in Carlsbad, Calif.] how many children Keynes had. He explained that Keynes had none because he was a homosexual and was married to a ballerina, with whom he likely talked of "poetry" rather than procreated. The audience went quiet at the remark. Some attendees later said they found the remarks offensive.It gets worse.

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Niall Ferguson: Keynes was wrong because he was childless and gay

    Harvard Professor and author Niall Ferguson says John Maynard Keynes' economic philosophy was flawed and he didn't care about future generations because he was gay and didn't have children.Speaking at the Tenth Annual Altegris Conference in Carlsbad, Calif., in front of a group of more than 500 financial advisors and investors, Ferguson responded to a question about Keynes' famous philosophy of self-interest versus the economic philosophy of Edmund Burke, who believed there was a social contract among the living, as well as the dead. Ferguson asked the audience how many children Keynes had. He explained that Keynes had none because he was a homosexual and was married to a ballerina, with whom he likely talked of "poetry" rather than procreated. The audience went quiet at the remark. Some attendees later said they found the remarks offensive. It gets worse. Ferguson, who is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, and author of The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die, says it's only logical that Keynes would take this selfish worldview because he was an "effete" member of society. Apparently, in Ferguson's world, if you are gay or childless, you cannot care about future generations nor society....

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