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Education: Parents pay a fortune to send their kids to big-name colleges, and they expect strong scholarship in return. More and more, what they're getting ranges from drivel to leftist indoctrination.Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald shocked a New York City audience at the 2013 Wriston Lecture this month with some examples of what leftist academics have done to the American college curriculum."Until 2011," she noted, "students majoring in English at UCLA had been required to take one course in Chaucer, two in Shakespeare, and one in Milton — the cornerstones of English literature."Following a revolt of the junior faculty, however, during which it was announced that Shakespeare was part of the 'empire,' UCLA junked these individual author requirements and replaced them with a mandate that all English majors take a course each in gender, race, ethnicity, disability or sexuality studies, imperial, transnational or post-colonial studies, and critical theory."As Mac Donald put it, "In other words, the UCLA faculty was now officially indifferent as to whether an English major had ever read a word of Milton, Chaucer or Shakespeare, but was determined to expose students, according to the course catalogue, to 'alternative rubrics of gender, sexuality, race and class.'"UCLA is far from alone, "but the UCLA coup was particularly significant because the English Department there was one of the last champions of the historically informed study of great literature uncorrupted by ideological overlay," Mac Donald noted.What had the students exchanged for the greatness of English literature? Mac Donald demonstrated by quoting "A Midsummer Night's Dream.""Since once I sat upon a promontory," the fairy king Oberon tells his jester elf Puck, "and heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath that the rude sea grew civil at her song, and certain stars shot madly from their spheres to hear the sea-maid's music."Then she juxtaposed it with UCLA's official description of its post-colonial studies research grant:"The theoretical, temporal and spatial intersections of post-coloniality and post-socialism will arrive at a novel approach to race, gender and sexuality in present-day geopolitics."Next year's Modern Language Association conference, she pointed out, which brings together the country's literature faculty, will be devoted to "poverty, climate, reparations and activism in order to mobilize for change."Mac Donald recounted how a Columbia University undergraduate, required by core curriculum to study Mozart, bitterly complained the core " upholds the premises of white supremacy and racism. It's a racist core. Who is this Mozart, this Haydn, these superior white men?"As Mac Donald noted, the charge of eurocentrism is especially preposterous against Mozart, "who makes a Muslim pasha the only truly noble character in his opera 'The Abduction From the Seraglio,' and whose Sarastro in 'The Magic Flute' appeals to a universal humanity."Compare that hostility toward the intellectual giants of civilization to the attitude of trailblazing black scholar W.E.B. DuBois, who despite "living during America's darkest period of hate, nevertheless heartbreakingly affirmed in 1903" his "intellectual and spiritual affinity with all of Western Civilization," as Mac Donald said.In "The Souls of Black Folk," quoted by Mac Donald, DuBois movingly wrote, "I sit with Shakespeare, and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm and arm with Balzac and Dumas ... I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension."Beyond the university, true learning and reverence for past genius can be found thriving, she pointed out, often driven by market forces. The Great Courses from the Teaching Co., for instance, profitably sells recorded lectures on topics ranging from Virgil's Aeneid to the Civil War to "adults who rightly feel shortchanged by their college education," as Mac Donald put it.But for parents who assume a degree from a famous college with a long-established reputation gives the wisdom of the ages to their kids, a closer look might reveal they're paying a lot of money for ideology, not edification.
This is just criminal. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/112713-680988-timeless-authors-becoming-casualties-to-college-ideology.htm?p=full
Who is this Mozart, this Haydn, these superior white men?