Yale University has caved to the demands of student Social Justice Warriors, and will no longer require English majors to study or read Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Donne, John Milton, Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, or T.S. Eliot to obtain their degrees.
The move comes in response to a 2016 petition that expressed outrage over the university requiring students to learn about the works of white males and which urged the school to “decolonize” the English department.
The College Fix reported on the changes, and while they explained that the petition has since been made private, Reason Magazine was able to grab an excerpt of it:
“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. A 21st century education is a diverse education: we write to you today inspired by student activism across the university, and to make sure that you know that the English department is not immune from the collective call to action…”
The Social Justice Warrior students argued that by featuring so many “straight, rich, white males” in the Major English Poets courses, the university was creating an environment that was “hostile” to people of color.
The term “decolonize” is an interesting suggestion to make to the English department because it is a word that means the undoing of colonialism. It’s more commonly used when a territory is taken over or dominated by another people (colonized), and the decolonization would be the reversal of that action.
In terms of the petition, it gets confusing because the suggestion seems to be that straight, rich, white males have dominated 16th, 17th, and 18th century literature and poetry, and Social Justice Warrior students demanded that the school featured less white men from these time periods to accommodate those who feel threatened by reading the works of white men.
Yes, it is that absurd. It gets even worse when you consider that these students are the future leaders of America and that the school offered accommodations based on this petition.
Yale University has changed its English Major curriculum to offer students alternative classes to take so that they would never have to pick up a book written by William Shakespeare or Geoffrey Chaucer. Instead, they can immerse themselves in the works of Ngugi wa Thiong’o.
One of the biggest criticisms of today’s Social Justice Warrior movement is that they look at history with present-day attitudes and interpret past events in terms of modern values and concepts. This is called presentism, and remains a problem for the Left.
Logical human beings would look at a course that studies European literature and poetry from the 16th-18th centuries and presume that the works studied will be written by predominantly white males. These same logical human beings would presume that a course studying the literature from the ancient Chinese Xia dynasty would feature mostly Chinese scholars, writers, and poets.
Social Justice Warriors, on the other hand, see the world in a different way, and their first prerogative, wherever they are found, is to figure out how their situation is racist against them.
Written by Phoenix Brooks and published by Conservative Matrix ~ November 26, 2017.
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