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.