Culture Beat / Jun. 2, 2016

Yale Students Want to Eradicate ‘White Male Authors’

“It’s time for the English major to decolonize — not diversify,” they argue.

A petition from a group of Yale University students is accusing the institution’s English Department of cultivating racism and, in light of that, requests changes be made to English major prerequisites. “In particular,” the authors whine, “we 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.”

They continue, “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.” The writers say, “It’s time for the English major to decolonize — not diversify — its course offerings,” and call on the faculty to initiate changes. Any dissent, they argue, is “unethical.”

“There’s nothing wrong with providing a greater variety of courses for students, and if students want to read more female and minority authors, the English Department is welcome to oblige,” writes Reason’s Robby Soave. But there’s just one big problem: “There just aren’t that many early modern writers who were gay or transgender.” They’re always welcome to conjure up fairy tales, though, since fantasy is all these snowflakes seem capable of understanding.

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