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Cambridge University agrees to Decolonise the Curriculum watch

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    (Original post by sizzlelikeasnail)
    So in the current day, even though society is better, virtually all curriculum will be by white authors. So they're trying to force a fix which is debatable better than doing nothing at all.
    What is wrong with a little bit of patience? Identity politics is rather ugly and arguably is demeaning to those who it alleged to help, for instance given the recent crusade for discrimination against cis-hetro-white men, or in SJW speak "positive discrimination in favour of the BME, LGBTQ(insert other million letters here), and females to correct historical injustice" the question always has to be asked "did I/they achieve x through merit or a leg up?" The attitude implies that the group in question is worse than other cohorts, cannot operate on the same level, and needs support to do anything.

    In this particular instance short of being able to prove institutional racism it just shouts that black authors are weaker than white ones, if they weren't they wouldn't need to be forced onto the course.

    A quick Google of "black authors" brings up a whole host of people, almost all 20th or 21st century and mostly post war (and none that I have heard of in their capacity as an author, but it would probably be similar with a list of white authors). The question that comes from that is: is there much non white reading suitable for an English course? With the obvious answer being "probably not" on the basis that it is a minority of output for less than a century; give it time and short of institutional racism the amount of non white content should increase on its own.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    The Telegraph correction, a pathetically small apology.
    https://twitter.com/CUSUWO?ref_src=t...aph-front-page
    It's "pathetically small" because it isn't an apology, it is a correction on page 2. What is the point of a correction? To correct an error. Does this do so? Yes.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    How the Telegraph made this story up and baited a black student, pump-priming racist attacks on her.
    https://www.newstatesman.com/politic...aph-front-page

    Servile boot-lickers to UKIP and other assorted far right extremists - what the Telegraph now is.
    Have you ever actually read it, even just the one story or just going on what the New Statesman tells you to think?

    Also, care to point out where the "baiting" and "racist attacks" are? Then again when your source is the New Statesman I expect little else other than creating injustices out of thin air to have something to shout about.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Are you serious? I challenge you to name just one black writer of the sixteenth century who was even writing literature in English (this is an English course), never mind one who was doing so at a level worthy of study at Cambridge.

    A literate black person writing in Africa during the sixteenth century is far more likely to have written in a language of conquest rather than one of colonialism - Arabic. Even writings in Swahili are heavily influenced by Islam. What social justice can be found in that?

    The irony of this storm in a teacup is that the demand for 'decolonising the curriculum' will have the opposite effect to what the SJWs want. The black authors that will be studied would have been writing in a different language entirely if it had not been for colonialisation, and this merely emphasises the colonialisation of their native lands.
    "Are you serious?"

    Same reaction here. I can't say there were that many pre-20th century author's out there producing important literary works in English who weren't white.

    Proportionally speaking, the history of English literature is as white as it gets.

    They should take African or Asian studies (or even American studies) if it's non-white literature they want.
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    (Original post by Dandaman1)
    "Are you serious?"

    Same reaction here. I can't say there were that many pre-20th century author's out there producing important literary works in English who weren't white.

    Proportionally speaking, the history of English literature is as white as it gets.

    They should take African or Asian studies (or even American studies) if it's non-white literature they want.
    Yet this story was a Tripos paper called

    Postcolonial and related literature

    but in fact it was about literature in English and foreign language literature translated into English from outside the British Isles and the USA.

    So it would include Puskin, who influence in English literature is entirely through translation, Canadians such as Margaret Atwood South African like Alan Paton. It also included writers in this country who were expats from elsewhere such as
    Kazuo Ishiguro.

    It does do what it says on the tin. |When most people think of post-colonial literature they don't mean novels set in English country houses before the war.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Postcolonial and related literature

    So it would include Puskin,
    An author who died in the 1830s is postcolonial? Surely not! Unless he was even better than Martin Peters and a hundred years ahead of his time.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    An author who died in the 1830s is postcolonial? Surely not! Unless he was even better than Martin Peters and a hundred years ahead of his time.
    I think this is the origin of the problem. I think the students might reasonably expect a course with that title to include Maya Angelou, Derek Walcott, CLR James and the Naipal brothers but in reality it is a course on all literature originally written in English or translated into English by people connected with countries other than the UK, Ireland and USA in any era. The course is being sold under a false title.
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    (Original post by FriendlyPenguin)
    Cambridge University’s English Literature professors will be forced to replace white authors with black writers, under new proposals put forward by academic staff following student demands to “decolonise” the curriculum.

    For the first time, lecturers and tutors will have to “ensure the presence” of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) writers on their course, under plans discussed by the English Faculty’s Teaching Forum.

    The move follows an open letter, penned by Lola Olufemi, Cambridge University Student Union’s women’s officer and signed by over 100 students, titled “Decolonising the English Faculty”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...onise-english/
    What the hell
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    The course is being sold under a false title.
    Yeah, it's a shame there isn't a more detailed description available to students so that they won't be misled.
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    they can put Mr Rushdie in; he is a jolly good egg.
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    (Original post by mojojojo101)
    Correcting a historical injustice and predominance of authors who write from a particular socio-economic point of view is not the same as being racist to white people.
    The question is more would such notions be supported in reverse, if I for example said (note the stats are made up) that black people are 5% of the population yet feature in 17% of studied books we must therefore reduce the number of books by or containing black people in order to be more accurately representative of our society - it would be met with cries of 'racist' and 'marginalisation' etc etc however when done on behalf of a minority it is not. That is a social hypocrisy.

    Further what is the reason to reject primarily white authors from a country which is, and always has been, predominantly white? The history of the nation was built on the writings of said people and therefore they are more relevant and thus more discussed - for example we briefly looked at different cultural interpretations of the individual for my law course, and then it never came up again because the British legal tradition relies on the rational autonomous individual and therefore all the other interpretations are as useful as a nuns tits.

    Most literature is built on white writers and canon due to historical factors therefore it's entirely reasonable to study them in vast majority. There is a greater case to ensure more contemporary black writers (although I am against any kind of race based decision making as it always has a whiff of discrimination when you do something because of someone's race) - but it is not a good idea to put a 20th C black writer against say Shakespeare and show how different they are - er yeah no sh!t. Not only does this create a false comparison it is also a totally pointless way to analyse anything - it's like if 50 years in the future countries become a brutal autocracy and they look back and say 'look at how quaint democracy was'. From their citizens perspective this will be true, because what they know resonates with them, but we would say the opposite. It's using social placing to teach badly if it applies such methods.

    (Original post by ByEeek)
    That is what is proposed. The journalist starts using the word "replace", then goes on to say that there must be a "presence" before saying that the university deny white authors will be replaced by black.

    Not that this will stop some suggesting that white culture is being eroded away etc etc blah blah
    I'll wait and see what they actually do - I don't trust a 'promise' from anyone doing anything for political reasons more than I would a politician.

    To answer the OP; I think it's stupid. Colonisation happened, it's important, and it forms a fundamental part of history so it will be in the curriculum - get over it. This whole 'decolonising' is such a load of rubbish. History happened as it happened and influences writings and cultures, learning about that is critical. We can learn about black authors too (although why we don't just use the most appropriate without caring about their skin colour I have no idea) but this whole deliberate attempted ignorance of history is frankly dangerous in academic terms. I also don't believe they are being genuine in that this is more to serve their goal of more BAME than it has anything to do with colonisation which is why I am suspicious of the idea.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    The course is being sold under a false title.
    Perhaps I shall stick to post-colonial Austen, Conrad, Richardson and Dickens then - and pre-colonial Shakespeare.
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    (Original post by GonvilleBromhead)
    I'll wait and see what they actually do - I don't trust a 'promise' from anyone doing anything for political reasons more than I would a politician.
    That is rather pessimistic. Why would they replace white writing with black? It makes absolutely no sense academically and as a political statement it is rather weak as well. Sure, it gets a headline as the author of the article managed but when you look at the substance underneath, there isn't much to see. Black culture is fast becoming a part of our heritage, history and culture. It surely makes sense to include it in our studies of literature?
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Perhaps I shall stick to post-colonial Austen, Conrad, Richardson and Dickens then - and pre-colonial Shakespeare.
    Conrad must be in; a Pole writing in English.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Conrad must be in; a Pole writing in English.
    But only EM Forster, Henry Ryder-Haggard and Rudyard Kipling could really be said to be more 'colonial' than him.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    But only EM Forster, Henry Ryder-Haggard and Rudyard Kipling could really be said to be more 'colonial' than him.
    Kipling must be in; he is man who learned his craft in India.

    I don't think Forster is in but the man who inspired him to write A Passage to India, Ahmed Ali will be.

    Is Rider Haggard a man of the Veldt or Breckland?

    The whole construct is nonsense.

    Why is Margaret Atwood post-colonial but Washington Irving not?
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Is Rider Haggard a man of the Veldt or Breckland?
    Not quite normal for Norfolk. He is a man of the Breckland but a writer of the high veldt. I should think he scores high points as a post-feminist icon for writing 'She', but low ones for 'King Solomon's Mines'.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Why is Margaret Atwood post-colonial but Washington Irving not?
    I'm guessing that any US writer cannot qualify as British, Irish and American writers are out altogether but logically any US citizen is, by definition, post-colonial.
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    That is rather pessimistic. Why would they replace white writing with black? It makes absolutely no sense academically and as a political statement it is rather weak as well. Sure, it gets a headline as the author of the article managed but when you look at the substance underneath, there isn't much to see. Black culture is fast becoming a part of our heritage, history and culture. It surely makes sense to include it in our studies of literature?
    I suppose it is. I have no reason to assume they will, but I have a track record as long as an actual race track of instances where things have been assured and promised along political lines and turned out to be total lies - so I by default don't trust it until it's actually implemented.

    I have no issue with including it, provided it is as rigorously examined as texts by white authors and has to pass the same standards - so no comment to make there.
 
 
 
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