by Locker Room contributor
Seems not all universities rubberstamp literature courses “by and about” people of a certain gender. The University of California didn’t ? when David Clemens proposed that his English 10, “Literature By and About Men,” be transferable to UC campuses. UC said the course was too narrowly focused and that there was no comparable course in the UC system. Clemens notes:
While I don’t question U.C.’s woeful admission that not even one campus offers a course in literature by and about men, U.C. does accept, for lower division transfer from community colleges, such English courses as “Images of Women in Western Literature” from Saddleback, “Contemporary Women Writers” from Santa Barbara, “Women Writers” from Foothill, “Introduction to Gay and Lesbian Multicultural Voices in Literature” from Diablo Valley, “Women in Literature” from Santa Rosa, “Images of Women in Literature” from Santa Monica, “Changing Images of Women in Literature” from Butte, “U.S. Women’s Literature” and “Her Story: Women’s Autobiographical Writing in Multicultural America” from Chabot, “Literature By Women” from Sierra, and “Literature By and About Women” from Shasta, among dozens of other clearly thematic literature surveys.
As with the nay-Bobs at UNC, it seems universities can find reason to oppose new courses. Given their warped view of what academic courses are intended to do, if it appears to them that the courses would, in their parlance “make education more accessible for” others besides “racial and ethnic minorites,” they’ll oppose them. That’s why UNC-Chapel Hill celebrated this year the creation of two new minors, “Sexuality Studies” and “Latina/o Studies,” but the nay-Bobs at UNC are having conniptions over the prospect of a Western Civilization program there (and making such responses to their critics as, Wull I betchoo’d oppose a Disabilities Studies program too!).
As Clemens put it (emphasis in original), “Apparently, U.C. sees comparability as defined only by gender, not by level or type of course, thereby applying a standard of gender discrimination that produces an inequitable, politicized curriculum and differential treatment based solely on sex.”
Aside: doesn’t anyone want to study literature for its art and its soul-stirring potential anymore, or has reading for purpose of racial and ethnic bean-counting completely won sway?