In a growing number of disciplines, diversity is becoming more important than the subject matter.

Campus Reform reports:

Barnard student petitions against ‘Eurocentric literature’

More than 200 students at Barnard College have signed on to a petition demanding that the school’s English department reform its “Eurocentric” focus on pre-1900’s literature.

The “Petition for Diversifying the the Barnard English Major” was written by student Mya Nunnally, an English major who feels that the department’s “focus on the Western Canon as the standard for literary excellence” overshadows literature written by people of color.

“By focusing on Eurocentric literature, Barnard’s English major perpetuates a vicious, exclusionary cycle,” writes Nunnally, adding that the English department creates an “academic space that erases all the crucial contributions of other cultures.”

“Not only is this blatantly racially biased, it has lead [sic] to many students avoiding the major in favor of some that are more inclusive,” Nunnally adds.

Out of 10 required classes for an English major, four must be focused on the pre-1900s, according to the department.

In an interview with Campus Reform, Nunnally said she has felt a “gradual frustration” as a student of color majoring in English, explaining that “Once I knew that I wasn’t the only person who felt this way, I decided something needed to be done.”