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“Decolonize”: Yale students circulate petition opposing white male poets

truthatallcost

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Via Reason’s Robby Soave, who captured the campus activist mindset succinctly in another recent post about insanity at a different school. “The students … seem to think they’re not at college to be educated,” he wrote, but that “they are at college to educate everyone else.”

We have much to learn from these adult babies, my friends.

[W]e oppose the continued existence of the Major English Poets sequence as the primary prerequisite for further study. It is unacceptable that a Yale student considering studying English literature might read only white male authors. A year spent around a seminar table where the literary contributions of women, people of color, and queer folk are absent actively harms all students, regardless of their identity. The Major English Poets sequences creates a culture that is especially hostile to students of color.

When students are made to feel so alienated that they get up and leave the room, or get up and leave the major, something is wrong. The English department loses out when talented students engaged in literary and cultural analysis are driven away from the major. Students who continue on after taking the introductory sequence are ill-prepared to take higher-level courses relating to race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, ability, or even to engage with critical theory or secondary scholarship. We ask that Major English Poets be abolished, and that the pre-1800/1900 requirements be refocused to deliberately include literatures relating to gender, race, sexuality, ableism, and ethnicity.

It’s time for the English major to decolonize — not diversify — its course offerings.
No request for “dialogue” on campus is complete without a threat — these aren’t really requests, after all, they’re demands — and that comes later in the petition when the English department is warned that they’re “not immune from the collective call to action.” A writer at Slate cited by Soave tried reminding the students that Shakespeare and Milton et al. are canonical for a reason and that to read them is to lay the intellectual foundation on which one’s broader understanding of literature, western and otherwise, is built. But that misses the point. Again: They’re not there to learn. They’re there to teach, and teaching begins with an assertion of authority. (“We have spoken. We are speaking. Pay attention.”) Or maybe I have the cause and effect mixed up. Maybe it’s the assertion of authority that’s important and educating the educators is merely the pretext for asserting it.

This is really just a highbrow version of lazy left-wing writers online grumbling lately that James Bond, a different type of canonical literary figure, should be black or female in future movies. Ace wrote a post marveling at the sheer lack of imagination involved in that. Why not create a new secret agent, he wondered, make him — or her — black, and have them rescue Bond from some predicament? Why insist on coopting Bond when you can do your own thing? The answer, obviously, is because cooptation is the point. Anyone can write a spy movie; anyone can introduce new, diverse characters. Writing the future is easy. Rewriting the past is where the real power is. Why would anyone with enough political power to seize the prestige of some foundational text or character and remake it to promote their agenda prefer to create something new? That’s the sort of thing you might do if you were interested in literature for its own sake. What really interests them about the canon is the question of who enjoys the authority to declare what’s canonical. Why not adult babies all of 20 years old?

I’m kind of surprised Trump hasn’t used campus insanity to greater effect on the trail, to be honest. Higher education is the most preposterously politically correct institution in American life. It’s right in his wheelhouse. Even anti-Trumpers like me would be sympathetic to him extending a middle finger to cultural Stalinists. It’s a terrific wedge issue vis-a-vis Hillary too, since she needs to pander to these children for their votes. Make her answer, since she’s a Yale alumna and all: Is the “Major English Poets” course, the bedrock of literary education in the west, too white and male? If Trump’s really lucky, college activists will take his criticism as a challenge and will start turning out in greater numbers to protest him, with results similar to the fiasco in Chicago months ago. That would also work to Trump’s advantage by pitting the authoritarian populist against the vanguard of the radical anti-western elite with undecided voters effectively left to choose between them. He’s got nothing to lose.
?Decolonize?: Yale students circulate petition opposing white male ?Major English Poets? requirement « Hot Air

Predictably, no MSM outlets have covered this.

Yale English lit students think that white male writers are overrepresented. Thoughts?
 

ellesdee

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As long as they're not demanding white males be eliminated from the curriculum, I don't understand why this is a problem.
 

OrphanSlug

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More foolishness that takes us even further away from honest discussion on race relations. But that is the nature of the game today, speaking volumes about why this is so sad.
 

Ntharotep

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They need more time in school before reaching college. Then they might have heard of Phillis Wheatley, Anne Spencer, or James Weldon Johnson.
:shrug: I like poetry...

At least if its college students they are generally just wasting their own or their parents' money.

It is dangerous for a woman to defy the gods;
To taunt them with the tongue's thin tip,
Or strut in the weakness of mere humanity,
Or draw a line daring them to cross;
The gods own the searing lightning,
The drowning waters, tormenting fears
And anger of red sins.

Anne Spencer
 

ocean515

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More foolishness that takes us even further away from honest discussion on race relations. But that is the nature of the game today, speaking volumes about why this is so sad.

The actions of these students, as with others across the Nation, is simply confirmation that the $10 of millions spent to manipulate and control them is paying dividends. It's a manufactured effort seeking social discord to accomplish a goal. That these kids have fallen so easily for such manipulation speaks volumes of their maturity, and of the effort to capitalize on their lack of it.
 

joG

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Via Reason’s Robby Soave, who captured the campus activist mindset succinctly in another recent post about insanity at a different school. “The students … seem to think they’re not at college to be educated,” he wrote, but that “they are at college to educate everyone else.”

We have much to learn from these adult babies, my friends.

[W]e oppose the continued existence of the Major English Poets sequence as the primary prerequisite for further study. It is unacceptable that a Yale student considering studying English literature might read only white male authors. A year spent around a seminar table where the literary contributions of women, people of color, and queer folk are absent actively harms all students, regardless of their identity. The Major English Poets sequences creates a culture that is especially hostile to students of color.

When students are made to feel so alienated that they get up and leave the room, or get up and leave the major, something is wrong. The English department loses out when talented students engaged in literary and cultural analysis are driven away from the major. Students who continue on after taking the introductory sequence are ill-prepared to take higher-level courses relating to race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, ability, or even to engage with critical theory or secondary scholarship. We ask that Major English Poets be abolished, and that the pre-1800/1900 requirements be refocused to deliberately include literatures relating to gender, race, sexuality, ableism, and ethnicity.

It’s time for the English major to decolonize — not diversify — its course offerings.
No request for “dialogue” on campus is complete without a threat — these aren’t really requests, after all, they’re demands — and that comes later in the petition when the English department is warned that they’re “not immune from the collective call to action.” A writer at Slate cited by Soave tried reminding the students that Shakespeare and Milton et al. are canonical for a reason and that to read them is to lay the intellectual foundation on which one’s broader understanding of literature, western and otherwise, is built. But that misses the point. Again: They’re not there to learn. They’re there to teach, and teaching begins with an assertion of authority. (“We have spoken. We are speaking. Pay attention.”) Or maybe I have the cause and effect mixed up. Maybe it’s the assertion of authority that’s important and educating the educators is merely the pretext for asserting it.

This is really just a highbrow version of lazy left-wing writers online grumbling lately that James Bond, a different type of canonical literary figure, should be black or female in future movies. Ace wrote a post marveling at the sheer lack of imagination involved in that. Why not create a new secret agent, he wondered, make him — or her — black, and have them rescue Bond from some predicament? Why insist on coopting Bond when you can do your own thing? The answer, obviously, is because cooptation is the point. Anyone can write a spy movie; anyone can introduce new, diverse characters. Writing the future is easy. Rewriting the past is where the real power is. Why would anyone with enough political power to seize the prestige of some foundational text or character and remake it to promote their agenda prefer to create something new? That’s the sort of thing you might do if you were interested in literature for its own sake. What really interests them about the canon is the question of who enjoys the authority to declare what’s canonical. Why not adult babies all of 20 years old?

I’m kind of surprised Trump hasn’t used campus insanity to greater effect on the trail, to be honest. .....s?

Let the kids do what they like and flunk them, if they don't know enough.
 

TheGoverness

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This is kinda similar to that gaming convention that a college shut down because it wasn't "diverse" enough.
 

ttwtt78640

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Race and gender of authors should be used as a literary selection criteria - just a bit differently. ;)
 

joG

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They need more time in school before reaching college. Then they might have heard of Phillis Wheatley, Anne Spencer, or James Weldon Johnson.
:shrug: I like poetry...

At least if its college students they are generally just wasting their own or their parents' money.

It is dangerous for a woman to defy the gods;
To taunt them with the tongue's thin tip,
Or strut in the weakness of mere humanity,
Or draw a line daring them to cross;
The gods own the searing lightning,
The drowning waters, tormenting fears
And anger of red sins.

Anne Spencer

They should be made to learn Kipling by heart. ;)
 

truthatallcost

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Let the kids do what they like and flunk them, if they don't know enough.

I see what what you're saying, but teachers can't flunk the students without the parents of those students getting angry and saying it's the teacher's fault that the kids aren't learning.

Kids today are precious little princes and princesses, that's how they're parents see them, and that's why they feel like they can tell their teachers how to teach the class.
 

Van Basten

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I have no idea why these kind of folks go to schools like Yale.

I feel bad for the school administration.
 

joG

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I see what what you're saying, but teachers can't flunk the students without the parents of those students getting angry and saying it's the teacher's fault that the kids aren't learning.

Kids today are precious little princes and princesses, that's how they're parents see them, and that's why they feel like they can tell their teachers how to teach the class.

Then let the parents pay enough to go to a school with a curriculum that their kids like. But it seems better for the school to teach, what employer will be willing to employ.
 

Carjosse

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Then let the parents pay enough to go to a school with a curriculum that their kids like. But it seems better for the school to teach, what employer will be willing to employ.

It is a poetry class, they are not gaining employable skills anyways.
 

truthatallcost

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Then let the parents pay enough to go to a school with a curriculum that their kids like. But it seems better for the school to teach, what employer will be willing to employ.

That really sums it all up joG. I think many schools aren't really teaching useful real world skills to college students. Instead they focus on a lot of political material, and emphasizing things like "white privilege" and "societal racism". Minority kids hear this stuff and think the world is out to get them.

Imo, colleges should focus more on preparing students for what they'll face once they graduate college, such as high competition for jobs, the shrinking of the middle class, loss of good paying jobs, rising rents, etc.

The problem is that professors are highly paid, but don't really compete in life the way most employed people do. So they can teach a lot of theories and rhetoric that actually is putting kids at a disadvantage.
 

Carjosse

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Neither is African American studies. Should we nix that?

You could. I am fine with having it as long as someone else whines about the under representation of White Africans in African American studies.
 

truthatallcost

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You could. I am fine with having it as long as someone else whines about the under representation of White Africans in African American studies.

I'm not as concerned with any lack of white Africans in an AA studies class as I am about the anti white sentiments that seem to be harbored in these classes.

Also, many AA professors seem to be flakes. Like the one from Princeton who claimed white police officers stopped and sexually harassed her for being black. Then patrol car footage proved she was lying about the whole experience. And she's teaching at Princeton.
 

Captain Adverse

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That really sums it all up joG. I think many schools aren't really teaching useful real world skills to college students. Instead they focus on a lot of political material, and emphasizing things like "white privilege" and "societal racism". Minority kids hear this stuff and think the world is out to get them.

Imo, colleges should focus more on preparing students for what they'll face once they graduate college, such as high competition for jobs, the shrinking of the middle class, loss of good paying jobs, rising rents, etc.

The problem is that professors are highly paid, but don't really compete in life the way most employed people do. So they can teach a lot of theories and rhetoric that actually is putting kids at a disadvantage.

Do you understand what REAL colleges and Universities are for?

They teach various AREAS of study in the Sciences, Arts, and Social Sciences. Colleges give you a general degree. Universities give you a FOCUS.

If you are trying to get a degree in Literature it's not supposed to be geared toward teaching you about all those "survival skills" you list. Not for the DEGREE anyway.

Colleges and University have electives that can help with that. But you were already supposed to be learning that from life experience; by getting a starting job, learning to socialize with other people (not video/snap/text/chat!), or going to some vocational school. High school is supposed to teach one the very basics. College is where you work on your interests in hopes it will lead to a life career.

The OP is correct. The kids are wasting their time and everyone's money trying to get a degree with as little effort as possible by these B/S diversionary tactics.

Get your damn degree, prove you KNOW your stuff, then you can suggest teaching such "new areas" yourself.
 
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TurtleDude

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I have no idea why these kind of folks go to schools like Yale.

I feel bad for the school administration.

its gotten far worse from the time I was there-when I was there-several of my friends created what became the federalist society-we all were in the same residential college save Spencer Abrahams who didn't attend Yale. I was just back there last week for a reunion and then I was at the local Yale Club, Yale's most prestigious law professor-Akhil Amar, was at both events and even he noted that Yale was "too liberal" and it was stifling free expression.
 

Eric7216

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Only a matter of time before the SJW turn on each other. It is odd. First we hear about the evil of cultural appropriation and here these people are upset that in an ENGLISH class (the language), there is an overrepresentation of ENGLISH people, i.e. white. If you want to study non-white poets than study them in the languages of the non-whites and stop the cultural appropriation.

Or is everyone allowed to culturally appropriate English but no one can appropriate other cultures?
 

truthatallcost

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Do you understand what REAL colleges and Universities are for?

They teach various AREAS of study in the Sciences, Arts, and Social Sciences. Colleges give you a general degree. Universities give you a FOCUS.

If you are trying to get a degree in Literature it's not supposed to be geared toward teaching you about all those "survival skills" you list. Not for the DEGREE anyway.

Colleges and University have electives that can help with that. But you were already supposed to be learning that from life experience; by getting a starting job, learning to socialize with other people (not video/snap/text/chat!), or going to some vocational school. High school is supposed to teach one the very basics. College is where you work on your interests in hopes it will lead to a life career.

The OP is correct. The kids are wasting their time and everyone's money trying to get a degree with as little effort as possible by these B/S diversionary tactics.

Get your damn degree, prove you KNOW your stuff, then you can suggest teaching such "new areas" yourself.

Both colleges AND universities are teaching this garbage to students. The UC system in California is rife with extremist professors overstepping their bounds and inundating students with their hypersensitive obsession with race and politics.

My brother is younger than me, and attended a UC school in California. Even his math professor spewed liberal diatribes at the students, and they had to sit there and listen, or risk p!ssing off the guy in charge of whether they passed the class or not.
Of course, this math professor leaned left.


And remember, I'm the OP, and the article I shared was in regards to Yale University, not Podunk Junior College in Buttscratch, KY.
 

Sweden

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They need more time in school before reaching college. Then they might have heard of Phillis Wheatley, Anne Spencer, or James Weldon Johnson.
:shrug: I like poetry...

At least if its college students they are generally just wasting their own or their parents' money.

It is dangerous for a woman to defy the gods;
To taunt them with the tongue's thin tip,
Or strut in the weakness of mere humanity,
Or draw a line daring them to cross;
The gods own the searing lightning,
The drowning waters, tormenting fears
And anger of red sins.

Anne Spencer

No, not more time in school, but more time on Earth aka the Real World. No admission to college under the age of thirty - that's my suggestion. ..... but what do I know I never went to college.
 

Hawkeye10

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That really sums it all up joG. I think many schools aren't really teaching useful real world skills to college students. Instead they focus on a lot of political material, and emphasizing things like "white privilege" and "societal racism". Minority kids hear this stuff and think the world is out to get them.

Imo, colleges should focus more on preparing students for what they'll face once they graduate college, such as high competition for jobs, the shrinking of the middle class, loss of good paying jobs, rising rents, etc.

The problem is that professors are highly paid, but don't really compete in life the way most employed people do. So they can teach a lot of theories and rhetoric that actually is putting kids at a disadvantage.

Well for damn sure they are not teaching how to evaluate or how to learn, nor the ancient wisdom this civilization has passed down to us, those people sucked! *biting sarcasm*

EDIT: though I would stake my life on the notion that they were more honest than todays elite, and probably a lot more wise as well.
 

fmw

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As long as they're not demanding white males be eliminated from the curriculum, I don't understand why this is a problem.

It would be a problem if they added bad literature to the curriculum in order to satisfy the kids. Great literature is what they should use, regardless of the demographics of the author.
 
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