What does University of Minnesota have against classics?

  • Article by: Mark Bauerlein
  • Updated: April 30, 2013 - 6:55 PM

The University of Minnesota puts ‘College in the Schools.’ But it leaves out the classics.

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ruphinaApr. 30, 13 7:10 PM

everything you need to know about the list is obvious from this bio attached to the list: "Faculty Coordinator: Toni McNaron is a distinguished teaching professor emerita in the University of Minnesota's English Department. Her research and teaching focus on Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Milton, feminist criticism, feminist pedagogy, and lesbian poetry." Let's just say if you actually have any testosterone in your system, you are gonna fail this curriculum. Bill G.

livefreeordApr. 30, 13 7:10 PM

One more reason, for a family led by two U of MN alumni, for us to dissuade our children from attending the U and for us to lobby our representatives against any continued support of it. It's an embarrassment doing more harm than good anymore.

handsomepeteApr. 30, 13 7:13 PM

While classic literature may appeal to some, it has no value in the modern world. Show me one job advertisement that lists as a requirement an in-depth knowledge of Shakespeare.

sausageApr. 30, 13 7:43 PM

Classic literature may not make you a dollar in this world, but what about your personal, intellectual and spiritual growth? Today the one extreme surplus that we have is "leisure time". Sure you could watch TV and play video games and sports on TV, but that will produce people with the intellect of a vegetable. I read Shakespeare at 10 years old; took Latin and German voluntarily in high school; read poetry as a freshman in HS. I still keep the complete works of the great authors in my living room and they are used often. I am physically alive and mentally growing yet at 70. I am not a sports enthusiast but enjoy a good play at the theater (not a movie). Beethoven to me is not a dog but a fine musical source for peace. I guess I am just lucky. Try it sometime.

jarlmnApr. 30, 13 8:29 PM

"Classical" literature is like, stuff written by dead irrelevant white men, right? My sociology Professor said that crap is obviously the product of imperialist, xenophobic and prolly racist and sexist white dudes, right? That stuff is too hard for college students to read, anyway. Can't the professors have us read like, comic books instead? Er, I meant "graphic novels." (sarcasm)

georifaApr. 30, 13 9:06 PM

The humanities, including classic literature, will make you plenty of money. Over the term of a career, a person who excels at reading, thinking and communicating will make a lot more money than a person who masters "debits and credits."

minnestupidApr. 30, 13 9:45 PM

Why is it an either or? We must never leave out the classics, for they teach & inspire us still! But we must include authors of the 21st century also for there are good ones out there also! Now with more authors self publishing online it opens up a whole new frontier of new reading, writing & discussion for our students! Our students DO need to feel that their experience is represented in literature of today & I think that is great! But please, let them discover the classics & how those works can relate & speak to them NOW!

arspartzApr. 30, 1311:43 PM

If the kids are having trouble with, "See spot run," Trudging through Great Expectations will be of no benefit. If they are having trouble with grammar and its rules, poetry and Shakespeare will actually be a set back. People say they never use math in their day to day lives, I have never used my literature or art classes. I use math almost every day.

michaelpatrickMay. 1, 13 1:28 AM

The biggest weakness in these sorts of programs that give college credit for work done in high school is that most of that work doesn't truly measure up to actual college-level work. It saves people money by letting kids get college credit in h.s., but they most often are not getting college-quality learning experience. Few h.s. teachers are learned-enough in terms of breadth, depth, and sophistication to match that of PhD-holding college instructors/profs. If you want a real college education, take a real college course, not these watered-down h.s. courses. If you want to save money at the expense of the quality of you kid's education quality, take advantage of the courses.

SamCuritibaMay. 1, 13 4:16 AM

By definition, a "classic" piece of literature is one which has themes that resonate with all of mankind and are representative of the human condition. Granted, as an International Baccalaureate English teacher, I am biased towards the classics. I have communicated my enthusiasm and infused my high school students with excitement and awe for Shakespeare. They have been studying ROMEO AND JULIET and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM for four weeks, with only three left in the unit, and they are already complaining that they wish we had started earlier! Anyone who thinks the classics should be ignored doesn't have full appreciation of all they have to offer.


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