Sunday, June 5, 2016

Yale Students Tell English Profs: Too Many White Male Poets: Ill-prepared to take race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity courses

Via Billy


Some Yale University students are demanding changes to the English Department curriculum: specifically, they don't think it should feature so many English poets who were straight, white, wealthy, and male.

"It is your responsibility as educators to listen to student voices," the students wrote in a petition to the faculty. "We have spoken. We are speaking. Pay attention."

The "Major English Poets" sequence, a mandatory two-course commitment for English majors, is particularly problematic, according to the students. These classes cover Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Donne, John Milton, Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, and T.S. Eliot. It's not the most diverse line up, to be sure, but it's the one that best reflects history the way it actually happened. Inarguably, these are the most influential poets in the English language.

But students think this sequence "creates a culture that is hostile to students of color." They write:

More @ Reason


  1. They had profound things to say about the human condition. Schopenhauer learned Shakespeare and derived from him things about people.

  2. The issue is the quality of the thought of the great writers, not their color, nor sex. This is why English Literature in high school and collage is so depressing. They force you to learn second rate hacks just because of their race or sex.

  3. Then maybe these spoiled brats need to find an education elsewhere.


  4. I went to school when they were still teaching the classics. My comments were about what I saw they were teaching in the 1990's.

  5. I was in a good school where they taught Job, Chaucer and other greats

  6. Two thoughts here; The reason why they find it hostile, is that Western/English Literature forces them to perform what is an unnatural and very painful act for these special snowflakes, namely thinking!
    They like many of their peers are operating under the belief that any thing that happened before they were born is not worth bothering with since there is absolutely nothing those dead white males can teach them. One can not have excellence and equality. To acknowledge the classical greats is to also acknowledge that some writers are better than others, hence this is unequal and by extension "unfair".
    Lest I forget, to fully understand and appreciate the great writers of the past, requires work, effort and time by the reader. This is very unwelcome in the age of short attention spans, instant every thing and a culture that focused on mass appeal at the basest of appeal.

    Once again a great poet was over looked; Kipling!
    If this is the best that a student attending Yale can propose and the faculty condones and would give consideration to, then, attending Yale is a waste of time and money. It is possible to "graduate" from a university such as the once great Yale and still be an uncivilized, mal-educated barbarian. My apologies to barbarians of the past, if I have offended and insulted you by comparing you to a current Yale student

    1. Thanks.