Blake Smith

Blake Smith

Blake Smith is a historian of European interactions with South Asia and a postdoctoral fellow at the European University Institute. His essays regularly appear on Aeon.co, Scroll.in and other media.

Understanding and Misunderstanding 'Dog-Whistling'

Understanding and Misunderstanding 'Dog-Whistling'

Accusations of ‘dog-whistling‘ are commonplace in contemporary politics. Politicians and pundits regularly accuse each other of using apparently benign words and phrases to conceal dreadful meanings. It is, however, chiefly the Left that accuses that Right of dog-whistling, and mostly to disclose and denounce the supposed racism lurking in conservative

Blake Smith
Blake Smith
Top Stories
Who's Afraid of Tribalism?

Who's Afraid of Tribalism?

It is not news to anyone that the United States is being torn apart by tribalism. Media commentators widely agree that American politics and society is increasingly polarized—divided into two mutually hostile camps which share ever-fewer references and values. While observers may assign a greater share of blame to

Blake Smith
Blake Smith
Top Stories
Why We Say 'Islamism' and Why We Should Stop

Why We Say 'Islamism' and Why We Should Stop

‘Islamism’ is a word that refuses to die. Conceived by a group of French academics who have since disavowed their creation, it has been criticized by many on the Left and the Right. Yet it still appears in scholarship, the media, and political discussions, jostled alongside terms like ‘fundamentalism,’ ‘political

Blake Smith
Blake Smith
History
The Problems of “Privilege”: Lessons from the French Revolution

The Problems of “Privilege”: Lessons from the French Revolution

In recent years, ‘privilege’ has become an important concept in modern politics, academia, and popular culture. It appears in an increasing and disorienting number of forms, from male privilege and white privilege, to “gay privilege,” “black male privilege,” and “family privilege,” and these claims about privilege animate a wide array

Blake Smith
Blake Smith
History
Muslim Vikings and Abuses of History

Muslim Vikings and Abuses of History

Two weeks ago, Swedish researcher Annika Larsson of Upssala University announced that she had discovered a thousand year-old Viking textile with ‘Allah’ inscribed on its hem. Major international media outlets rushed to publish news of Larsson’s supposed discovery. Within a few days, the BBC, The Guardian, and The New

Blake Smith
Blake Smith
History