News, Culture & Society

White University of Central Florida academic is condemned for donning brownface, beard and fez cap

The nutty professor! White University of Central Florida academic is condemned for donning brownface, beard and fez cap for video lectures on Middle Eastern and North African historical figures

  • A professor at the University of Central Florida is in hot water after videos of his online lectures showed him appearing to use brownface 
  • Kenneth Hanson is an associate professor with the school’s Judaic Studies Program, he also has a website where he promotes himself as ‘Jerusalem Jones’ 
  • His bio describes himself as: ‘Passionate about his research of the ancient world, Dr. Hanson carries his ecumenical message beyond the scholarly boundaries’ 
  • The photos show him dressed more or less as Indiana Jones, but it’s some of his videos that have really gotten him in trouble
  • In the lectures, he’s wearing brown makeup to make his skin look darker, wearing middle eastern traditional clothing, affecting an exaggerated beard and voice 

A professor at the University of Central Florida is in hot water after videos of his online lectures showed him appearing to use brownface and an accent some found inappropriate. 

Kenneth Hanson is an associate professor with the school’s Judaic Studies Program, he also has a website where he promotes himself as ‘Jerusalem Jones.’ 

His bio describes himself as: ‘Passionate about his research of the ancient world, Dr. Hanson carries his ecumenical message beyond the scholarly boundaries in which they were once held captive. His appearances on syndicated radio and national television (The History Channel), have brought ancient insight into everyone’s world.’

The photos show him dressed more or less as Indiana Jones, but it’s some of his videos that have really gotten him in trouble. 

In the lectures, he’s wearing brown makeup to make his skin look darker, wearing middle eastern traditional clothing, affecting an exaggerated beard and voice.

A professor at the University of Central Florida is in hot water after videos of his online lectures showed him appearing to use brownface and an accent some found inappropriate

Kenneth Hanson is an associate professor with the school's Judaic Studies Program, he also has a website where he promotes himself as 'Jerusalem Jones'

Kenneth Hanson is an associate professor with the school’s Judaic Studies Program, he also has a website where he promotes himself as ‘Jerusalem Jones’

His bio describes himself as: 'Passionate about his research of the ancient world, Dr. Hanson carries his ecumenical message beyond the scholarly boundaries in which they were once held captive. His appearances on syndicated radio and national television (The History Channel), have brought ancient insight into everyone’s world'

His bio describes himself as: ‘Passionate about his research of the ancient world, Dr. Hanson carries his ecumenical message beyond the scholarly boundaries in which they were once held captive. His appearances on syndicated radio and national television (The History Channel), have brought ancient insight into everyone’s world’

The photos show him dressed more or less as Indiana Jones, but it's some of his videos that have really gotten him in trouble

The photos show him dressed more or less as Indiana Jones, but it’s some of his videos that have really gotten him in trouble

The videos are posted to a public website alongside his curriculum.  

A student of Hanson’s, who asked to not be identified, said that seeing the videos made them ‘feel like I’m in a class in the 1960s. It doesn’t make sense.’ 

Hanson has faced heat in the past, with an anonymous student complaining about his ‘derogatory and stereotypical depiction of cultures and religions’ in 2018.  

UCF’s Office of Institutional Equity said at the time: ‘Dr. Hanson has not represented cultures not his own, or even those that are his own, in an inappropriate fashion.’

A student complained against Hanson once more in 2021, according to FOX 35 and apparently the professor was told by the university to stop darkening his skin. 

The university responded to the new complaints in a statement: ‘We recognize this content was offensive to some of the UCF community. The videos related to the complaints have been removed from the courses by Dr. Hanson, and he is working with his department leadership and students to address any further concerns about course content.’ 

A student of Hanson's, who asked to not be identified, said that seeing the videos made them 'feel like I'm in a class in the 1960s. It doesn't make sense'

A student of Hanson’s, who asked to not be identified, said that seeing the videos made them ‘feel like I’m in a class in the 1960s. It doesn’t make sense’

Hanson has faced heat in the past, with an anonymous student complaining about his 'derogatory and stereotypical depiction of cultures and religions' in 2018

Hanson has faced heat in the past, with an anonymous student complaining about his ‘derogatory and stereotypical depiction of cultures and religions’ in 2018

UCF's Office of Institutional Equity said at the time: 'Dr. Hanson has not represented cultures not his own, or even those that are his own, in an inappropriate fashion'

UCF’s Office of Institutional Equity said at the time: ‘Dr. Hanson has not represented cultures not his own, or even those that are his own, in an inappropriate fashion’

Hanson has authored nine books on the Middle East

Hanson has authored nine books on the Middle East

Syria Lutfi, the university’s Palestinian Student Association president, said of the videos: ‘To know that that guy is working here at an institution that I pay so much money for and that I take so much pride in, is so hurtful to see.’

The student who brought their complaints in public wants an apology from Hanson and an explanation from the university of why he was allowed to do the videos.  

Hanson has authored nine books on the Middle East. All of the videos previously posted on his website have been taken down. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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