“We Are Our History”: Confronting the Past and Imagining the Future of Whig-Clio
The American Whig-Cliosophic Society, colloquially known as Whig-Clio, is the oldest collegiate literary and debate society in the nation. Usually we say this with pride, as an impressive feature that sets us apart. But, like Princeton itself, Whig-Clio’s extensive history means it is wrapped up in the darker sides of American history, too.
The Princeton & Slavery Project has done incredible work tracing the University’s connections to slavery and racism throughout the centuries. Though I was familiar with certain stories on the website from research for a history class, it wasn’t until last week that I discovered the page about Whig-Clio, titled distinctly yet powerfully: The Whig-Cliosophic Society and Slavery. As President of the Society, the article compelled me to reflect on the potential for Whig-Clio in creating a more inclusive and just campus.