Sunday, June 5, 2016

Suck It up, Buttercup

At Slate's "XX Factor" blog, Katy Waldman acknowledges the complaints of Yale students that the curriculum for English majors includes many dead white male poets.

But, she says, it's tough to understand too much about English literature and poetry without encountering some dead white males. So perhaps the students majoring in English might take the opportunity to reflect on the origins of their field and come to grips with the fact that for many centuries, the unenlightened folk who dwelt in the British Isles gave not a fig for 21st century sensitivities and produced work that reflects this.

They probably won't, of course. They're college students and besides the likelihood that they are nice people, they know everything and thus people laboring under the burden of greater experience, reflection and most probably wisdom need to pipe down and let the younkers run things.

An immediate failing grade shall be given to anyone who wonders why people or beings who know everything are taking classes. That's OK. I've failed a class before, and it's surprisingly survivable.

1 comment:

fillyjonk said...

There's a lot I could say about this kind of thing (and even in STEM, sometimes you get told what to teach by students - or what NOT to teach) but it would get really ranty really fast.

I'll just observe I'm grateful I went to a very old-skool prep school where we got a lot of these authors, and I was able to take Great Books in college. As I slowly read my way through the Shakespeare plays I didn't read in school, I am again struck by how much he permeates culture (even still)