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Yale ‘decolonizes’ English dept. petition claimed white authors ‘actively harms’ students

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posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 01:07 PM
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If you are an English literature major, you get exposed to everything. Queer, black, African black, Japanese, Russian, women, etc., and white old dudes. They are bundled together in "literature studies" so you have to take "Shakespeare" (there is no getting around that one because it is too important) and you can opt for "women's studies", or "colonial studies" (i.e., anything not American where they established a colony from some other country), "homosexual lit", "black lit", "modern lit", "post modern", etc. You cannot not take some study and graduate on time.

In my case, in order to graduate on time, I walked into class full of chicks and one gay dude and studied the topic of homosexual literature for a semester. There were a few surprises and some really good writing. The autobiographical tale of a man watching his mate die of AIDS when everybody was afraid to shake hands with the infected is heart wrenching to say the least and will always stay with me. As a non-homosexual or bi-sexual (or pan sexual, or whatever the new PC flavor of the day is), I found my horizons expanded a bit (as Northrop Frye would say) and glad that I had to actually take the course. Diversity is not scary.

It is a private school. They can do what ever they want to their curriculum. I'm surprised that an anonymous google petition would affect them.

And didn't the Simpsons already cover this topic when Mr. Burns went back and found Yale of old drastically changed? I think robots were involved too.




posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 01:09 PM
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Minority's can complain but majority rules more or less. Just the way it works out not intentional to limit minority works but the entire lack of monitory works can't be blamed on the majority. They can only blame themselves and there ancestors.






posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 01:15 PM
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a reply to: mikell

Could you imagine students of Japanese literature getting up in arms because there weren't enough examples of black authors writing about the African experience in Japanese?

That is sort of what we're talking about here.

Oh, and we're not even talking about African authors from more modern times who might have learned the language recently, but African authors from samurai times writing about what it was like to be a black samurai during the Tokugawa shogunate.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 01:54 PM
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a reply to: starwarsisreal

Back in the stone age when I went to college, I remember a class I took on that stuff. African folk stories, Indian mythologies, etc. Pretty interesting stuff.

I took another class on Shakespeare. Also pretty good.

All are literature or a form thereof. But I sought them out. They where offered, one just had to go after it. I did not get upset the Shakespeare class did not have anything about the Vimanas. I was not offended the African folktales did not include Othello.

Not sure on this one.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 02:05 PM
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a reply to: ABNARTY

My understanding is that they're mad because they are not studying English narratives produced by the people/cultures/periods they want to read about instead of simply studying English narratives for what they are.

They are not looking at Shakespeare or Chaucer as examples of English literature produced in that time period, but they are factoring in the full component through their modern critical race theory lens. To them, it's a microagression to be made to study an English narrative produced by a white male even though that's going to be about the only type of narrative found in that particular time period of English language and literary history.

If you could find a woman playwright from the same time as Shakespeare, and there were a few women who wrote plays, but Afra Behn is the first who made a living at it around the 1660s, so nearly 100 years after Shakespeare, then you would be looking at someone with inferior work. So to study it as an example would be to study something less than the exemplar that Shakespeare is.
edit on 27-10-2017 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 02:43 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

That is a plausible theory. I agree with your train of thought but I am still lost on those complaining.

Maybe the "English" part of the department or class title should be a clue that this will not contain Chinese literature?

I am sure many universities now-a-days have plenty of "Insert Group Here" Literature classes available.




posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 02:49 PM
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a reply to: ABNARTY

But in order to appreciate those literature, one has to read it in their language of origin. Some things get lost in translation. I highly doubt a lot of these SJWs have the patience to learn another language.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 03:01 PM
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a reply to: starwarsisreal

I agree transliteration loses nuance.

I did not learn Swahili or Hindi. I read it in English but the stuff was pretty interesting anyway. But Early Modern English was a stretch for me.

Maybe it would have been easier to simply claim some injustice and bypass the effort



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 03:18 PM
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I feel like they do have a point. Let's be fair, while the major may be called English, it's hardly just focused on English works anymore. Authors like Proust, Dante, and Dostoevsky play just as great a role in what is taught as Shakespeare, Chaucer, and Milton. So the fact that the major is called English is really just a formality.

That said, how many core English classes teach works from minority authors? Homosexuals? I mentioned Proust above but he's not really taught in core classes. The same goes for Marlowe. Hell, Byron is probably the most important poet of his era and I feel like he gets glossed over. Women? Despite their influence, women like Shelley and the Brontes are almost always relegated to electives. And you never see a black writer in a class that isn't called African American Literature.

That doesn't even get us started on Eastern literature. The Tale of Genji is widely considered to be the first novel and yet I have never seen it taught anywhere. The Three Kingdoms is one of the most important works ever written and once again I've never seen it taught. And I feel like the only you'll see any kind of Middle Eastern literature is if you take Arabic as a language.

There are definitely works from minority groups that should be taught as part of the core curriculum. Instead though they more or less get treated as afterthoughts by consistently getting relegated to electives.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 03:22 PM
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a reply to: starwarsisreal

That's a cop out. Writers like Dante and Dostoevsky get taught without any problem. Why should it be an issue when teaching writing from non-white cultures. Hell, Beowulf is English literature and a staple of pretty much every English program. I highly doubt a single student could understand it if they read it how it was written.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 04:15 PM
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Need more of this obviously:

edit on 27-10-2017 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 04:22 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

I have concerns about the veracity of any university "English" department that uses "diversity" as a verb, failing to realize the word they were looking for as an action word should have been "diversify."

The lowering of the bar to accommodate the failures while installing "no leaping" signs to block those who strive to succeed will be the death of humanity's advancement as a species. Survival of the fittest depends on the brightest, best, and strongest advancing beyond the failures. There is no advantage whatsoever to artificially advancing those who should be left behind.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 04:40 PM
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a reply to: slider1982

There were great kingdoms in Africa, be it sub-saharan or otherwise, with great art. A lot of it was destroyed, and where traditions are partly oral many don't survive colonial european powers.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 04:54 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

Well if the University English Department actually used the term diversity as a verb then that shows exactly what the state of English education is.

Jaden



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 06:21 PM
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My understanding is that part of what makes oral tradition great is the storytelling component. So to read it, you are missing it.

Much like attempting to read Shakespeare, you are losing an essential component. You have to see it performed to catch the full idea.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 06:22 PM
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a reply to: Xcalibur254

Should the class teach those works because of what their authors were or because of the merit of those works?



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 06:38 PM
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A lot of it was destroyed
a reply to: skalla

How can you study something that was destroyed?



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

Don't forget Post-Mortem Lit as well...



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 06:48 PM
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a reply to: Xcalibur254

english.wisc.edu...

Just one example. If the student wishes he/she can choose from Literature & Culture of Asian America, Literature of Native America, Women in Ethnic American Literature, Language, Race, and Identity, Feminist Theory and Women’s Writing in English, on and on and on. And Shakespeare.

This is just one college in one university. While it is not Yale, there is no need to protest Shakespeare because it excludes other authors/playwrights. It silly. If the student wants to learn, the choices are there.

So I looked up Yale.
catalog.yale.edu...

Students majoring in literature are "required" to take three classes in a foreign literature with readings in the original language. In addition they have African American Studies, Classics, East Asian Languages and Literatures, English Languages and Literatures, Film and Media Studies, French, German, Italian, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Portuguese, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Spanish. There is no way to interpret that is not providing a diverse opportunity to choose from.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 07:00 PM
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a reply to: slider1982

I think the point of all this is that we don't know what other writers existed at the time because our schools don't teach it.
There could be 100s of poets, writers, from china and africa during those times. Seems to me that the collage now teaching about all of them is the right thing to do. And as far as the idea that the african poem would be clicks and whistles or that we can't read ancient chinese writings .....most of it can be translated the same we translate old english. Here is an example of a poem that students have to learn, read in it's original language. www.openculture.com...



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