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Student forces Cambridge to drop white authors

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Orkrider2, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    I'll still happily take that generation of snowflakes with their safe spaces and jazz hands over the kind of people who deliberately misconstrue an open letter by a student to their university to present it as some kind of attack on white culture, or all those people who subsequently felt that it was justification to flood the social media accounts of that student with racist abuse.

    BTW, safe spaces is just a relatively new name for a concept that exists in multiple forms in many different situations, giving more recognition to the more insidious and 'benign' forms of discrimination is a good thing, and getting upset about some people choosing to do jazz hands instead of clap in their own meetings is a pretty snowflakey attitude tbh.
    InkyP and needabreak like this.
  2. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    No. The English refers to the language primarily. But came from here first. Other countries need to rename/clarify it because they want to focus more on books written by their citizens/ in their culture/ history/ context.
  3. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Ooh! Micro-aggression!

    Find me a safe space!
    Oscillatingass and lexus300 like this.
  4. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    At this hour? Bed Nomad... off you go... It's where I'm heading, mine not yours obviously.
    lexus300 and nomad like this.
  5. elledriver

    elledriver Lead commenter

    English Lit as a degree is a bit like a book club that meets more often without sauvignon blanc and canapes. Read some books and talk about them
    Hobby degrees are those which aren't particularly useful in themselves but are interesting to the participants an while away 3 years or perhaps more. Nobody else much cares they exist. Other examples might be Latin , Ancient Greek, mythology , ancient civilization, a lot of history, film studies, philosophy etc.
    Non hobby degrees involve directly employable skills like STEM or are the foundation for a professional qualification.
    lexus300 likes this.
  6. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Lead commenter

    Far too many of the people that I have met with 'non-hobby' degrees have not been in possession of especially well-rounded personalities. A good example is Accounting and Finance.

    As a school leaver, I used to work for one of the top ten firms of chartered accountants. The graduate intake back then consisted of rather too many socially inept, shallow and emotionally stunted individuals, though perhaps you need to be like that to get turned on by dull sets of figures, or to find the fact that someone sent out a balance sheet with the typo 'Sunday Creditors' on it highly amusing. Eliot captures the tedium and banality of that existence with his line about a life measured out by coffee spoons.

    Later on, I had cause to work in the City. This was the time when phrases like 'yuppie' and 'lombard' were prevalent. I bumped into plenty of wannabe, pocket versions of Farage.

    It was not a pretty sight. Bret Easton Ellis's wonderful novel American Psycho aptly portrays the character type from that period. There's a clue in the title.I would also refer you to Robert Hare's non-fictional study, Snakes in Suits, and Clive Boddy's book on corporate psychopathy.

    Hobby degrees like English literature, by their very nature, counter that tendency, simply because they provide an opportunity to imagine that you are someone else. They can promote empathy, a quality that is in short supply in the world of business.

    And perhaps the utter failure of the neoliberal philosophy that business leaders subscribe to can be attributed to the fact that most of the great and good of that world could never hope to pass a Voight-Kampff test.

    Increasingly, teaching at management level has become infested with this type of person too, namely, those in thrall to the god of data with an inability to value their staff in any meaningful way. Perhaps that's why education these days has become such a shambles.
  7. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    My 'hobby' degree has led directly into the world of work. Friends with Drama, English and Film degrees have easily transferable skills; we're all well read, able to sift and process information; can articulate an argument; analyse texts - we work in a variety of workplaces including education, nursing, theatre work, working with special needs children, acting (film and TV), running their own companies...STEM subjects are of course essential, but to describe other degrees as merely 'hobby' degrees is quite patronising. We need a variety of people with a variety of skills, practical, creative and scientific.
  8. elledriver

    elledriver Lead commenter

    That is a primary destination of such degrees.
  9. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    This reminds me of what happens if you Google ''American Inventors''.

    It's a remarkable result...
  10. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Acooding to the Downing College Cambridge website Enlish literature students will read Chekov and Pirandello in translation, as well as authors such as Henry James. So this implies they are happy for students to read literature from other cultures and do not define English literature as books written by the English. So it can't be hard to update the list with the best of literature from other cultures.
  11. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Chekov? Translations?

    So that's more a World Literature course... I really have zero issue with a modern English literature course covering any writing from any culture that is in English. But translation removes the English bit and makes it a new beast surely?
  12. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    This forum literally is one.
  13. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Careful using ''literal'' ... I believe that can earn you a death sentence from GDW.
    sabrinakat and nomad like this.
  14. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

  15. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Yes but is it relevant to anything other than another whining session about white prejudice?
  16. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    It is not and you know that.
  17. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    What you mean to say, is White people with money and status. That is what this non event is all about, just another 'somebody done me wrong song' from an imaginary feeling of being oppressed. Still, it beats having to work hard for your degree.
    nomad likes this.
  18. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Not when you see the topic header.
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Safe space? Really? Here? You reckon? For people who use/misuse the word "literally"? Seriously???????

  20. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    Students: We want somewhere where we feel safe from discrimination because of our race, gender, sexuality, religion etc.

    Anti-snowflakes: The world is not a safe space.You should be exposed to a diverse range of opinions, not just those that you agree with.

    Students: Ok, but can we study some texts that weren't written by white men?

    Flere-Imsaho likes this.

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