Open Letter Regarding Restructuring of History at Goldsmith’s

Pierce Salguero

As editor-in-chief of Asian Medicine: Journal of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine, I am shocked by the plans for restructuring the history department at Goldsmiths, University of London. 

Goldsmiths’s socioeconomically and racially diverse student body deserves to have access to the innovative and forward-thinking history scholarship for which the department has been known. Never has a robust education in history been more important than in the current era of social unrest, extremist politics, and global uncertainty. Exposure to history betters our democratic civil society and increases our global awareness, and should be widely available and accessible for all students.  

I am particularly dismayed by the potential loss of excellent scholars in the history department at Goldsmiths who specialize in the history of medicine in Asia. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has made perfectly clear the global relevance and strategic importance of this subfield. To characterize scholarship in Asian medical history as in any way “redundant” at this moment in time is a myopic blunder.

The moves to restructure the department have been opposed by the University and Colleges Union as well as by a group of thousands of academics in the Collective Change Working Group. I join this call for reevaluation of these plans, and urge readers of Asian Medicine to do so as well.  

C. Pierce Salguero, PhD
Associate Professor of Asian History & Religious Studies
Program Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies
The Abington College of Penn State University
Editor in Chief, Asian Medicine

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