Oddly, English itself is a colonial subject

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”.

“For too long, teaching English at Cambridge has encouraged a ‘traditional’ and ‘canonical’ approach that elevates white male authors at the expense of all others,” the letter said.

“What we can no longer ignore, however, is the fact that the curriculum, taken as a whole, risks perpetuating institutional racism.”

They don’t seem to be noting the manner in which English is colonialism itself.

The Angles, Jutes and Saxons come over here and replace the Romano Celts – not, perhaps, genetically but certainly linguistically. In England that is. Vikings come over, beat everyone up and ad some Old German back into the mix. Normans conquer all and throw Romance back in. The resultant mongrels go conquer a third of the world and spread that language.

The only reason anyone other than one of those Celt/Angle/Viking/Norman mutants speaks the damn language is because of colonialism. The existence of the language in the first place is colonialism.

It’s an, umm, 800 year old language native to a bunch of white people on a damp island. How the hell do we derace, decolonise, that?

Sure, anyone who wants to understand persuasion, rhetoric, should be looking to MLK’s speeches. James Baldwin did some pretty hot stuff. There’s a certain amount of difficulty in replacing Chaucer and Shakespeare though, given the spread of the language back then, eh? Even Austen’s too early for there to be much written by anyone of a duskier hue.

26 thoughts on “Oddly, English itself is a colonial subject”

  1. I am old fashioned, so I believe in the Canon, ie a core body of work which has influenced other writers, entered the culture and provides a standard by which other work can be measured. My guess is that they are trying to dodge the hard stuff( Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton) already noncompulsory in the school syllabus. It’s cultural and linguistic erosion .

  2. The Unused Testicle

    The problem is that every human interest is subjugated to the Smartie Principle.

    Lola Olufemi has no interest in English Literature. Her only interest is to equalise the Smarties in the box.

  3. In what way are they “forced” to do this, just because a hundred students signed a bollocks petition?

    Either this story is a load of balls or they are perfectly happy to do this, and are using the “oh, we were forced” line as cover.

    Anyway, I thought it wouldn’t be long before the virus hit places like Oxford and Cambridge.

  4. Stick an Irish writer on the syllabus, job done. As Irish, bizarrely, officially counts as a racial category this ticks the box.

    Once done, fail all of the students who signed and kick them out.

  5. Purge,Purge and Purge again–both students and –as Rob says above–staff who are cowardly and/or leftist enough to swallow abuse demands from their own students.

    And bring back a modern version of the cane–a team of nasty types wielding fists, boots, baseball bats, pick-axe handles etc, etc.

  6. I am finding it quite amusing how many Nigerian names are popping up among those demanding justice for something or other. It’s almost as if they hail from a culture where trying it on is second nature. They’re probably absolutely gobsmacked that anyone is responding to them, you can be sure their fellow Nigerians wouldn’t.

  7. “The Angles, Jutes and Saxons come over here and replace the Romano Celts – not, perhaps, genetically but certainly linguistically…… The resultant mongrels go conquer a third of the world ”

    I hate this idea that the Brits, especially the English, are ‘mongrels’. Britain is fundamentally Ancient British with a large dollop of Anglo-Saxon. Viking and Normans didn’t have much effect on our genes, nor did the Romans.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/new-genetic-map-of-britain-shows-successive-waves-of-immigration-going-back-10000-years-10117361.html

  8. “Beethoven, Mozart and Shakespeare were all black men!”

    No. So wrong. They were trans mixed-race lesbians.

  9. Will all of this cease when the mean IQ of our population is equivalent to that in sub Saharan Africa or the Swat valley?

  10. My guess is that they are trying to dodge the hard stuff( Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton) already noncompulsory in the school syllabus.

    Indeed.

    Tim N is right; it’s not some chancer trying it on that’s the problem, it’s the university not telling her to fuck off.

  11. The English Faculty remains a disgrace and a laughing stock.

    I’ve even seen a memo by a member of staff elsewhere in the university sticking up for a young colleague, and including the words “we do not much resemble the English Faculty”.

  12. Jonathon,

    You realise we can’t actually identify ancient British genes – we can only go on the British genes now, which are (or were using the genes of non-mobile elderly people, as genetics as a science emerged too late to deal with the modern(ish – my family have moved every couple of generations since the seventeenth century it appears) mobility of people) fairly distinct from the continent to the west (but increasingly similiar to Ireland) but unsurprisingly on the east coast the genes are similiar to the continent. I suspect this is bugger all to do with racial groups or anything and everything to do with ease of contact – it was easier to sail from Hull to Holland (the Dutch one, although the Lincolnshire one would be even easier) than to walk to Liverpool, so you were more likely to have kids with someone from Holland than Liverpool.

  13. How long till another petition from students within the faculty asking for their degree not to be dumbed down appears?

  14. So Cambridge University is going to yield to 100 students, who are dumbass undergraduates.

    Cambridge University seems unaware that the CONTENT of the classics is what makes them classics, not who wrote them. The impetus here is to make who wrote them critical. A prima facie case for the elimination of the Cambridge University’s English Literature Department. And flunk the 100 students who made public their stupidity.

    Yes, Ecks, it’s purge time.

  15. “What we can no longer ignore, however, is the fact that the curriculum, taken as a whole, risks perpetuating institutional racism.”

    Students get to Cambridge and discover English Lit covers books written by English. They are stunned. Shocked. In disbelief.

    So why the fvck did you go to Cambridge? Some funky polytechnic seems far more appropriate. The school should expel you for your own benefit.

  16. I would expect a University English Department to at least be able to manage to use the English language before I consider throwing £27 grand at them.

    Ethnic is an adjective not a noun, minority is a noun not an adjective. The correct English is plain simple “ethnic minority”. And *not* “black and ethnic minority”, in this country black people ***ARE*** ethnic minorities, saying “black and ethnic minority” is stating that black people are not ethnic minorities so have to be tagged on explicitly, as in the semantically correct phrase “women and ethnic minorities” or “cabbages and fruit”.

  17. @Watchman

    ” I suspect this is bugger all to do with racial groups or anything and everything to do with ease of contact..”

    Then I suggest you get in touch with the authors of the article I linked to.

    Or here:

    https://isogg.org/wiki/People_of_the_British_Isles

    “It reveals that the white, indigenous English share about 40 per cent of their DNA with the French, about 26 per cent with the Germans, 11 per cent with the Danes and in the region of nine per cent with the Belgians.

    Geneticists and historians collaborated closely on the 10-years project and have been astonished to find that patterns in the DNA of Britons living today reflect historical events going back centuries, and in some cases millennia.”

  18. Cambridge University’s professors aren’t being forced to do anything.

    They’ve decided, of their own accord, to cave in to threats and blackmail, because they think once they’ve done so, they’ll be left alone to get on with their jobs and lives.

    They are about to find out how wrong they are: these people never give up, never stop, never compromise, always pocket every concession and instantly move on to the next one. Nothing ever is or ever will be enough for them.

    “Once you have paid them the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane”

  19. “professors will be forced”

    What happened to all the cries about academic freedom? Nope? Then since they’ve surrendered the principle without a fight, they can’t complain when the forthcoming Ecksian government orders them what to teach either.

  20. @ Richard
    There ARE cries about academic freedom because some Tory MP has asked (not demanded, asked) for *information* about who is teaching about Brexit before we know what Brexit involves.

  21. “They’ve decided, of their own accord, to cave in to threats and blackmail”

    Threats and blackmail (sic!) from a hundred crummy kids.

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