The English departments nowadays are large stores, experts in housing throughout, from Chaucer and Shakespeare to LEGBTQ and diaspora literature. Increasingly, the departments are adjusted to their names to reflect this diversity. For example, recently approved the vote of the English department to meet itself as the Department of Literatures in English. The teachers of the Carole Boyce-Davies department, Mukoma WA NGUGI and DERRICK SPIERS proposed the idea last summer, writing in an open letter that the "double pandemic of Covid-19 and global racism, together with the demands of decolonized institutions, They have brought a new urgency. To continuous questions about how racism works symbolic and structurally. "

The departments of English historically "carried the footprint of British colonialism and imperialism" and ", therefore, were destined to value the English domain in language, literature and culture," the letter said . But after the "progress of a range of literary studies during the last century and a faculty and growing students of various cultural places, the need to create a more dynamic literature department in English that really reflects the world has become a mandate Even stronger. "

, the teachers wrote, the term" Department of English "" no longer reflects our diverse fields of study ", ranging from enlightenment to postcolonial and literature in translation." And many others who use theories and literary concepts from all over the world. "

thirty-six teachers in the apartment finally signed in the letter. The department voted on the proposal in October, approve it not unanimously, but by a great majority.

Dan Schwarz, Frederic J. English English teacher in Cornell, said he lost the meeting of the department to which he changes the name. It was approved, but "many of my colleagues thought that the name change was more inclusive and spoke to the intellectual diversity of the department and its evolving curriculum."

In a letter after his dean, Caroline Levine, David and Kathleen Professor Ryan of the Humanities and the Family Chair of Picket in English, wrote: "We do not seek to change the formal curriculum or the appointment of the Transcription, but we make a passionate request to change our name to reflect our current diversity and our long-term. and profound commitments with the wealth of literatures from all over the world in the English language. "

Scripture for the Autumn News Bulletin of the Department, Levine said: "We seek to make it clear for the students and the general public that we study writers from Afr Ica, South Asia, the Caribbean, and The US UU, and that we value these as fundamental for any canon of great literary works in English. "

Header of criticism like ", but does not transcend literature. Politics?" And, "should not we think about literary greatness other than nationalism and imperialism?" Levine explained that the scholarship in literary studies shows that the English departments have been long. The masks of the conquest of Gauri Viswanathan, for example, detail how the first studies plan of Literature in English in India emerged at the beginning of the 19th century "as part of a dedicated effort to persuade Indian subjects to see England as A culture higher than yours and, therefore, to be determined. to the English rule ". More recently, Levine said, the Central Intelligence Agency promoted American literature to promote US culture during the Cold War.

Beyond Cornell

Bryn Mawr College's English department sought to change its name to the Department of Literatures in English, too, in October. The College Curriculum Committee formalized the change in November.

Kate Thomas, K. Laurence Stapleton English teacher at Bryn Mawr and Chair Department, said she and her colleagues were aware of what was happening in Cornell and wanted to manifest her own "commitment to The colonial approaches.

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