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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: October ::
De-Canonization (was "Importance)
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0837.  Tuesday, 24 October 1995.
From:           Ronald Dwelle <
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Date:           Monday, 23 Oct 95 12:30:40 EST
Subject:        de-canonization (was "Importance of Shaxspr")
Related to "The Importance of Shakespeare"--
My English department is currently undergoing a frenzy of curriculum reform
(undergraduate English major), largely because our curriculum has become
somewhat incoherent during the last 25 years, what with additions,
de-canonizations, multi-culturalizations, derridaizations, etc. The only stable
element for those 25 years has been the requirement of two courses: one we call
Greek Lit (Homer, a bunch of plays, a few lyrics) and the other Intro to
Shakespeare (standard introductory course, 5 to 7 plays, maybe a few sonnets).
The two courses are now on the chopping block, almost certain to go (as
requirements) unless I can do a better job of persuasion than I've done up til
now. Of course, it may be that my status as old-fart in the department is not
merely due to age--perhaps I am out of touch and all the de-canonizing
arguments are valid with regard to that old white male patriarchic reactionary,
The Bard. (I had to admit in public that my support for Homer and Shakespeare
was based on a conviction that they were "better" than, say, James Kirke
Paulding, Frederick Douglass, or Alice Walker.)
I wonder what the thinking is among this group. Should I say "Uncle"and let the
courses go? If not, I'll need some strong arguments to push forward. Any

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