“Petition for Diversifying the Barnard English Major”
No one is stopping these students from reading the authors they want but that’s not what this is really about.
Campus Reform reports:
Barnard rejects demand for less ‘Eurocentric’ literature
The Barnard College English Department has refused to bow to hundreds of activists who are demanding that it drop its focus on “Eurocentric” literature.
Launched in April, the “Petition for Diversifying the Barnard English Major” urges the department to implement numerous reforms, including a requirement to have “at least half of the syllabus composed of marginalized voices” and a demand to “hire more teachers of color.”
“This is a call for diversity and inclusion within the English major. Barnard’s English major requirements give total focus to overwhelmingly white (not to mention male) authors,” the petition complains, asserting that “This is due mostly to the four pre-1900s requirements, a lack of diverse courses overall, lack of faculty of color, and focus on the Western Canon as the standard for literary excellence.”
The petition goes on to argue that “by focusing on Eurocentric literature, Barnard’s English major perpetuates a vicious, exclusionary cycle,” alleging that the college only values the culture of “white Europeans.”
Despite the fact that the April petition has received more than 300 signatures, a Barnard spokeswoman told Campus Reform on Monday that the department has no plans to accede to the activists’ demands.
“Barnard’s English curriculum teaches Anglophone literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present, and requires our students to engage with a range of texts from literary history,” the spokeswoman said.
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