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Reed Students Say Humanities 110 Should Not Include White or European Authors

Students at an Oregon liberal arts college launch a self-defeating crusade for a more diverse curriculum.

Socrates contemplating whiteness Anastasios71/Dreamstime.comReedies Against Racism, a student group at Reed College, is demanding that the school's Humanities 110 course remove all European texts and replace them with non-European reading materials as "reparations for Humanities 110's history of erasing the histories of people of color, especially black people."

Whitewashed curricula are worth fighting. But the Oregon college will repeat the error in the opposite direction if it decides that European and Mediterranean authors have nothing to contribute by virtue of their whiteness.

The activists already lobbied successfully for the Hum 110 (as it is called) curriculum to be altered, through a series of protests in early April. These entailed interruptions of classes and thus clashes with other students and professors, at least one of whom understandably disagreed with the idea that the course represented "white supremacy."

The class, which is required for first-year students, will now have four different modules. The first two will still be centered around Athens and the ancient Mediterranean, while the third and fourth will focus on Mexico City from the 15th to 20th centuries and Harlem during the first half of the 20th century.

Now Reedies Against Racism want the first and second modules to be changed to Jerusalem and Cairo. They also claim that important texts will be cut from the course—including the Epic of Gilgamesh and Egyptian love poems, which were initially in the Mediterranean modules—to make room for the Mexico City and Harlem units, undermining the diversity the students sought in the first place.

In the group's own words, "the first semester of Humanities 110 will become actually less diverse than it was before, because all of the non-white texts in the course will be taught after the Greek and Roman content, during the second semester."

Apparently placement of modules matters, too. "Reed freshmen will still receive the message that learning about white culture is more urgent and foundational to a college education."

Several professors have pushed back against the notion that the course is whitewashed or overly Eurocentric. "The idea that Hum 110 is a 'white' course is very strange to me," Professor Jay Dickson tells Reed Magazine. "It presupposes that our contemporary racial categories are timeless." Other instructors have noted that the course considers parts of Egypt and Iran within the purview of the Mediterranean, and still others argue that the label "Western" is too broad and monolithic.

Even if the ancient Mediterranean authors read in the course are considered "white," it's odd to claim that they contain little to no value, especially when taught through a critical lens. According to Reed Magazine, the yearlong course was created in 1943 by combining intro-level literature and history courses. Students "read the plays of Sophocles, for example, as both literature and philosophy; they look at Moses as both a spiritual figure and as a politician." The class orients itself around discussion and debate, and has (in the past) centered around the ancient Mediterranean world "because of its enormous influence on the subsequent history of Europe and America."

But the course isn't unserious or uncritical of ancient power structures. "Students explore gender and ethnicity in the Book of Esther and examine how women are systematically silenced in the Iliad," the magazine notes. "They read Apuleius's Golden Ass as a subversive narrative which offers savage insight into the brutal power relations of imperial Rome."

All texts should be examined critically, and many cultures are worthy of study. The old axiom that history is written by the victors should lead any good scholar to consider which biases inform the things we learn and the way we learn them. But that's no reason to throw out important perspectives simply by nature of their authors' whiteness—especially when that whiteness is itself in dispute.

Photo Credit: Anastasios71/Dreamstime.com

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  • Microaggressor||

    Reedies Against For Racism

    Well, that was an easy fix.

  • Quixote||

    Everyone knows that words must always be used—and taken—at face value, and this fact points us towards one conclusion that we can all surely agree on: insidious works like the Letters of Obscure Men should rapidly be banned from every college campus in this country, due to the impact they can't help but have on the fragile moral character of our nation's youth. It starts by allowing youngsters to read that sort of trash, and before you know it, our most distinguished colleagues are being impersonated in "tweets" clearly designed to sully their reputations. Instead of defending this "free speech" nonsense, all of us should be condemning the refusal of a so-called judge in Manhattan to imprison our nation's leading criminal "satirist." A defiler of the very best reputations is allowed to walk free, after all our efforts? This is a sad development that needs to be vigorously protested. See the documentation at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Sevo||

    Not clicking on that until we get a non-sarc post.
    Try again.

  • General_Tso||

    Yeah, those old Greek and Roman guys didn't know what they were talking about anyway.

    What have the Romans ever done for us?

  • colorblindkid||

    The vast majority of the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa didn't even have written languages at the time of the Romans and Greeks. You can't change history.

  • Liberty Lover||

    I agree you can't change history, but you can re-write history. It has been done many times, and it looks like that trend is continuing.

  • Paloma||

    Alphabet maybe? Are the texts going to be in hieroglyphics? Chinese characters?

  • Skyhawk||

    Romani ite domim!

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Well the roads.

    And baths.

    And running water.

    And properly spelt graffitti.

  • Jimothy||

    Only gluten free graffiti for me, thank you.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    I recently signed back up to finally get a Bachelors Degree. As I look through the catalog of some of the courses I'll be required to take, I'm really not looking forward to the mandatory Diversity studies classes (I think two are required). I'm hoping that the classes being online will help me to not get tossed out.

  • some guy||

    Are you submitting yourself to this torture simply to open up career options, or do you actually expect to learn something you couldn't learn on the job?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Job advancement hopefully. I've been a tech for 22 years now and I'm at a decent company but I'm pretty much stuck in this position unless I get a degree.

  • Nihil||

    I'm in almost the exact same position myself.

  • Paper Wasp||

    If this is a situation where the employer is just impressed by a degree for no legitimate business-related reason at all, my sympathies are with you. That is always bullshit.

  • Nihil||

    I cant speak for $park¥, but my employer has job tiers. There are three tiers: support staff, specialists/leaders (these could be separate but that's not how they roll...), and management. There is some overlap between the tiers, but there is significant differences in pay between the groups. A top end support person will maybe make slightly more than a bottom of the barrel specialist.

    I'm stuck in the support ghetto unless I leave or get a degree. And since you're probably thinking about it, no, the focus of the degree doesn't matter. Getting a fancy piece of paper assures me a minimum 10% pay increase for doing exactly the same work I do today.

    It's a fucked up and stupid situation.

  • Paper Wasp||

    Always nauseating, how gullible and self-congratulatory the people who hold those fancy pieces of paper can be. They hire and pay "degreed professionals" more just to stroke their own egos and self-importance. Even if those degrees have fuck-all to do with the hire's actual responsibilities. In almost 30 years in the working world, I've seen a lot of dumbfuck "degreed professionals" in my time who couldn't find their own ass with both hands and a map in broad daylight.

    The market's pretty decent right now; I'd at least look around to see if you can get away from that stupidity.

  • JoeBlow123||

    It really is rather insane.

  • Sevo||

    "I'm stuck in the support ghetto unless I leave or get a degree. And since you're probably thinking about it, no, the focus of the degree doesn't matter. Getting a fancy piece of paper assures me a minimum 10% pay increase for doing exactly the same work I do today."

    Pathetic.
    Move to another job? I would.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'll photocopy my BS, and you can cross out my name and use yours. Ditto the JD. Why the hell not?

  • Ariki||

    After all that is pretty much all they are worth these days.
    Soon they will come on the back of cereal boxes.

  • DrZ||

    PhD = piled high and deep

  • Jazzizhep||

    Obviously some fields require knowledge that only the pursuit of a degree can satisfy, except through extraordinary means. I don't think people believe a JD, MD, and some science degrees are a waste and the same knowledge can be gained through experience.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Is Diversity studies history classes mostly? At my school it was, and they were all pretty enjoyable.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Unfortunately there's no real description about the class. And if it is history, that would be horrible.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Not fond of history?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    No, the subject bores me to tears. And I do already have to take an actual history course.

  • gormadoc||

    I was able to take world music for one of my classes. It was fun.

  • Nom de Sobriquet||

    I took a class called "American History through Film." It discussed how films through history reflected the society at the time (e.g. atomic scare/giant insect films). In case you were wondering if it was awesome, it was.

  • JoeBlow123||

    This may be fun, but when you have to spend time and $500 - $1500 (fairly standard cost of class by credit) on some stupid-ass class like this to get a degree in computer science or engineering or political science or anything really, it is infuriating.

    I am taking some classes again in Computer Science just for kicks as a second bachelors and regularly lose my shit in annoyance I have to fork over the amount of money I do for even useful classes. If I had to take electives if it was a first bachelors and spend $1000 dollars on fucking Gender Studies or Psychology I would probably have an anger stroke.

  • Paloma||

    Jewelry Design? My Jewelry Design prof would pass anyone that showed up no matter what they designed.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Dead white guys have written about 95% of the great literature and music.

    What will they think of next? Replacing Beethoven with Kanye West?

  • Microaggressor||

    Kanye is clearly too white for that.

  • John||

    He is not black black. I love it West is not on Shreek's designated enemies list.

  • Fancylad||

    Wait until these ctrl-left snowflakes get a load of Kong Fuzi, or Pure Land Buddhism...

  • Paloma||

    Pure Land Nembutsu is Hell.

  • Shatterface||

    Kong Fuzi? Who is this super hero? Sarge? No! Rosemary the telephone operator? No way man! Henry the mild mannered janitor?

  • sarcasmic||

    Exclusiveness in the name of inclusiveness.

    Do these people see 1984 as a manual? And I don't mean Hot for Teacher.

    "I brought my pen-cil! Gimme somethin to write on man!"

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    You got it bad.

  • ||

    And that ain't good.

  • Aloysious||

    "I don't feel tardy."

  • Alcibiades||

    The backlash can't begin soon enough.

    Meanwhile, your best bet for a solid grounding in the basics is probably a community college, lot cheaper too.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Unfortunately, community colleges are already infected with this sort of nonsense.

  • Alcibiades||

    Unfortunately, community colleges are already infected with this sort of nonsense.

    My impression is the infection is not yet systemic.

  • Vernon Depner||

    It's almost ubiquitous now. Private Christian colleges are about the only escape now.

  • John||

    Kahn academy and the internet is my advice.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Unfortunately that doesn't provide you with professional credentials.

  • John||

    No it doesn't and that sucks. But it does provide you with a real liberal education which has its own value beyond credentials.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Agreed. I just think it would be nice if employers were willing to look at alternative learning methods. Maybe some day in the future...

  • Nihil||

    I work at a company that wants a 4-year degree for people whose job is nothing more than managing their boss's email, calendar, and phones. I have no idea how I manged to get where I am without having a degree.

  • Alcibiades||

    Also YouTube...plus the internets

    You wanna learn Attic Greek, Koine Greek perhaps, and for free?
    Then get started...
    For lovers of dead and dusty languages those guys have surely taken to the latest tech to spread the word.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Kahn Academy is AMAZING!! Better than school honestly.

    It is unfortunate that we can learn everything ourselves nowadays, but if you are not credentialed then it amounts to shit.

  • ||

    The old axiom that history is written by the victors should lead any good scholar to consider which biases inform the things we learn and the way we learn them.

    And even embrace or adopt them! It's OK to adopt the biases of a winner. The South lost the Civil War, The Soviets lost the Cold War, the Nazis lost WWII. Sometimes historical recognition *should* be granted to the closers. Or do we include literature from ISIS and Boko Haram (talk about diversity!)?

  • Paloma||

    History is also written by the losers. In fact, it has to be actually written before it's history. Otherwise it's no more than legend.

  • Benitacanova||

    True enough. Starting with Thucydides.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Are the various non-European writings going to be taught by authentic Mexicans, Harlem natives, Sumerians, and Afro-Asiatics? Are the Greek and Roman writings going to be taught by authentic Hellenics and Latins or Sabines? Because to do otherwise would be cultural appropriation, right? I imagine that students will read English translations of the original writings, which is already a form of cultural appropriation.

  • Alcibiades||

    I imagine that students will read English translations of the original writings, which is already a form of cultural appropriation.

    ...and by way of arabic translations.

  • ||

    and by way of arabic translations.

    Originally, yes, but Western scholars have been working from the originals for a few centuries now.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Also, doesn't this basically tell people of Harlem they aren't Americans? Or does American literature not count as European to these people? Like, their choices don't even address their concerns.

  • John||

    These people are too stupid to understand what they are saying. They are like chimps with chainsaws with these ideologies. They think they are neat and like them to punish their enemies but they really have no idea what they are. If you think about what they are saying, it really is claiming that you are a prisoner of whatever culture you are born. You and only those like you can be a part of that culture and you can never understand or be a part of or cooperate with any other culture. It is pretty sick when you think about it.

  • Paloma||

    But ever then, they are not born into the culture of any African nation or tribe. African American culture is American culture and the Africaness permeates all of American society. Likewise all Black Americans are influenced by the Europeaness of American culture as well. Even to make demands and protests at an institute of higher learning reflects European values.

  • Paloma||

    Actually I should have clarified that those values are specifically Enlightenment values, which started in Europe. Not European per se.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Yeah, part of the enlightenment period was reformation which told people that they have, by birth, a right to pick a new tribe and not be stuck in any tribe by birth alone. Furthermore, it taught people that they can build new tribes based upon shared ideas - such as a freedom tribe of pioneers settling new lands far away from tyrannical control...

    Meanwhile, hundreds of years after this great movement took shape with all its consequences, self proclaimed "progressives" are working as hard as possible to convince people today they are stuck with the tribe their born into and have no ability to change that, irregardless of acceptance of that tribes beliefs/actions/etc.

    Returning human thought to the dark ages....progress indeed.

  • Rhywun||

    Also, doesn't this basically tell people of Harlem they aren't Americans?

    Their goal is instill distrust and drive everyone apart so basically yes.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Yep. If they can get people to see anything the US believes, says, does, etc, to be "evil", then they have a tool they will use to control every debate.

    Many countries in the middle east already have this default view of Israel and the US and it's so strong, that any idea or politician which can be said to be promoted by US/Israel is almost always defeated.

    And that's what this is - they want that same power in the US that allows racists in other countries to exert extreme influence.

    They want to be able to publicly label something "white" and that mean 80% of the population will automatically be against it.

    As this course of action demands censorship and humans will always be better in the long run if information/ideas are allowed to flow free, they honestly shouldn't be allowed to claim they're doing all this to benefit others.

    But like all tyrants, real and wannabes, they claim all this is necessary to make us all better humans in a more may society.

    And like all tyrants, given real power, they'll quickly prove how little the care about any/all humans, especially any with the temerity to disagree with the tyrant class.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Also, doesn't this basically tell people of Harlem they aren't Americans?""

    Harlem is becoming white.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Black/White they're Americans, damn it.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    Diversity - our greatest strength!

  • General_Tso||

    The problem is they celebrate diversity of everything but thought.

  • esteve7||

    Why are they in America? They have the freedom to leave. Don't fuck it up like all the other marxist countries in the history of the world.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    The first two will still be centered around Athens and the ancient Mediterranean, while the third and fourth will focus on Mexico City from the 15th to 20th centuries and Harlem during the first half of the 20th century.

    Every single one of those are still European. Like, if their intention was to be non-European, you can't just suggest places Europeans settled outside of Europe you dumb motherfuckers.

    Guess reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms is too hard/too badass for these dumb shits.

  • John||

    And they will read all kinds of third world Marxist bullshit I imagine without noticing that Marx was both European and a devil white man.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Guess reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms is too hard/too badass for these dumb shits.

    Just hand them a copy of Dynasty Warriors 9.

  • Paloma||

    I think the Japanese already made a comic book series about Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

  • Paloma||

    Even then, they'd be reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms in English.

  • BYODB||

    This is what happens when you let students demand what the curriculum will be.

    You end up with bullshit idiocy, precisely because they have no idea what they're actually demanding.

  • juris imprudent||

    They must also then demand to read the non-European sources in the original languages; no appropriating culture via vulgar translation to imperialist, patriarchal English.

    Given the interest in African history, the original source (language) may be non-writen which means they can be Reedies Against Reading. RAR!

  • Eidde||

    How many of these Reedies Against Whatever are there, in comparison to normal students?

  • juris imprudent||

    Between 2 and 3 times the actual Reed enrollment.

  • John||

    Reed has been a liberal freakshow for a very long time. It was that way back in the dark ages when I was looking at colleges.

  • MAGA my NAGGA||

    Meh, they're paying for it, let em demand what they want. And when the bill comes due, no crying.

  • Just Say'n||

    Correction: We're paying for it.

  • colorblindkid||

    Most of the Americas and Africa did not have any written language before Europeans arrived.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I wonder how many of them think Spanish is a naïve language in Mexico, Central and South America.

  • colorblindkid||

    I really do think a lot of them do. How many Mexicans are completely unaware that they have like 90% European blood? The Castros have 0% Native American blood, just like most of the Cuban government. Mexicans are the descendants of the brutal Spanish Empire conquistadors and/or the descendants of child-sacrificing constantly-warring colonialist Meso-American empires.

    There is an opposite phenomenon of white supremacy and American exceptionalism. It is the belief that things like war, slavery, colonialism, racism, and genocide are the inventions of white people and Americans. This could not be further from the truth. These things that existed in every culture and civilization for 10,000 years, yet in the last 150 years America and the West has done more to end these practices than any other culture or civilization in history..

    Just the belief that all slavery is inherently bad is a historical anomaly.

  • ||

    Just the belief that all slavery is inherently bad is a historical anomaly.

    ^ This. 500 years ago, Europe was pretty much the only place in the world where slavery wasn't simply taken for granted as a fact of civilization.

  • colorblindkid||

    Chief Seattle owned over a hundred slaves at the time of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Mayans' colonialist policies were far more savage and oppressive than the Spanish. Smallpox was an unfortunate accident, not ecological warfare. There is one instance of it being used as a chemical weapon, and it was centuries after 98% of the Native Americans had already succumbed to it.

    It it weren't for Smallpox, the Native Americans likely would have been able to beat back the Europeans. Chances are, just like every other time in history two empires met, there would have been battles and wars between the two, since the Natives would soon develop the boats and guns the Europeans had. History sucked. Humans are savage. People don't appreciate that. Especially people who think pre-colonial Africa was full of slavery-free wealthy empires were Africans lived in luxury and peace.

  • ||

    It it weren't for Smallpox, the Native Americans likely would have been able to beat back the Europeans.

    Agreed. Both dominant narratives (i.e. "White people rule because of awesome racial superiority" and "White people rule because of awesome racial villainy") miss those "because of a series of fortunate accidents" aspects of the rise of the Spanish Empire.

    The Aztecs were already in marked decline, and their subject kingdoms were chafing against their rule. The Spanish didn't simply invade and conquer - they leveraged the rebellious tendencies of rivals who were already trying to throw off the Aztecs. By the time they got to Peru, the Inca had largely already been devastated by small pox.

    Notably, once the Spanish tried to push into Northern Mexico, which was inhabited by very warlike nomadic tribes, their expansionary progress stalled until they discovered the cultural-conquest strategy of the missions. I.e. they stopped trying to invade militarily, and shifted modes into building missions and only using the military to defend those.

    The English did very similar things in Asia - they would wait in the wings while aging dynasties crumbled, played the warring princes against each other, and eventually insinuated themselves in by bankrolling the succession wars.

    Each story of European dominance is essentially "right time + right place + luck," with a touch of "realizing when the military strategy isn't going to work."

  • Paloma||

    Nomads are a lot harder to conquer than people who are settled. In a super structured hierarchical
    society like the Aztecs and Inca had, once you could take out the top, the rest crumbled.

    Pizarro's strategy? Simply tell the Inca emperor to come down from his fortified mountain top kingdom with his coterie of warriors, and by the way, DON'T BRING WEAPONS!

  • BYODB||

    Pretty good summation, I think.

    The disease angle wasn't intentional, it couldn't be at the time since disease wasn't really understood very well (if at all), but it was a small thing that managed to decide the fate of the America's almost all on it's own.

  • Paloma||

    Mexicans do have a lot of Indian blood as well. But in Mexico (and in most of Latin America) it's an insult to call someone "indio". And Mexicans also have a fair amount of Black DNA, especially around the Gulf coast. African slavery was perfectly legal until Mexico became independent.

    And I've heard Cubans claim that the reason the Castros were able to maintain power was that they were white and Batista was black.

  • mtrueman||

    Pure Mexican? There's no such thing, any more than there is pure mongrel. 90% pure European blood... take your Nazi fantasies and peddle them elsewhere.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Any bets on how sanitized these alternate history studies will be?

  • MollyGodiva||

    I went to Reed and of course took Hum 110. I think the criticism that lead to the change of curriculum was valid. The course was only about Greek and Roman works. I read about the new Hum 110 and I find it more interesting and valuable then the old. I think the Harlem and Mexico parts sound quite interesting and ejoyable. My only concern is that it seems the bible was dropped. I think that an academic, objective study of the bible is essential to understanding a large chunk of modern society.

  • ||

    I don't know the details of the curriculum, but it seems to me like the point of the course might be characterized as "foundations of Western thought and traditions."

    Harlem and modern Mexico don't have anything to do with that. Their inclusion is a shot-from-the-hip conciliation to modern American progressive political culture, and may as well be randomly chosen for inclusion for all they have to do with the intent of the course.

    Now if they actually wanted to expand the subject matter to study the history of Western culture in a less Euro-centric way (which is itself a bit of an oxymoron), there are plenty of North African philosophers, artists, and poets, particularly of the late medieval period, who had a tremendous influence on Western culture. If one wanted to include something on the cultural history of the New World, why not the writings of, say, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, who was an actual-in-fact Inca?

    But the people designing the curriculum would have to know about these people, which would involve having an actual interest in non-Western viewpoints, rather than simply looking for low-hanging fruit to pacify the shrieking mobs.

  • MollyGodiva||

    The point of the course is to be an academic boot camp, to get the students reading a book a week (not just select passages), to get them to present well reasoned arguments in the small class setting. Reed attempts to be academically demanding and you need to kick some freshmen butt to get them there.

  • Paloma||

    I'm skeptical as to what their idea of "well reasoned arguments" is. Because the reason they gave for having the course is not well reasoned.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    The point of the course is to be an academic boot camp...

    Assumes facts not in evidence and can be proven to be historically incorrect.

    Furthermore, colleges do have required classes which are dedicated to helping students succeed which do focus on things like, get used to reading a lot.

    A humanities class however should teach humanities. Not just "reading is good". If that's the point of the class, why call it a humanities class? Why not general education requirements?

    Put it this way Issac Newton invented calculus and discovered a great number of truths about the physical world which are still very relevant to modem science...

    But I assume you don't belive focusing on this white guy in math and physics classes would be considered racist?

    Assuming not, the same thought can be used here: a humanities class setup to teach western thought isn't racist solely because the foundations came mostly from a single race any more than calculus or the Laws of Gravity are racist because they all came from a single white guy.

  • Sevo||

    Yeah, Molly seems to have pushed the goal posts a ways down the road.

  • mtrueman||

    ", there are plenty of North African philosophers, artists, and poets, particularly of the late medieval period, "

    You needn't go back that far. Albert Camus and Jacques Derrida were 20th century writers born and bred in North Africa.

  • Sevo||

    "You needn't go back that far. Albert Camus and Jacques Derrida were 20th century writers born and bred in North Africa."
    We can always rely on truman for idiocy.

  • mtrueman||

    Thanks for relying on me.

  • Sevo||

    Nothing you don't deserve.

  • Mark22||

    Now if they actually wanted to expand the subject matter to study the history of Western culture in a less Euro-centric way (which is itself a bit of an oxymoron), there are plenty of North African philosophers, artists, and poets

    And by that you mean Muslim men, i.e., mostly white males.

    particularly of the late medieval period, who had a tremendous influence on Western culture

    No doubt: bloody conquest, slavery, occupation, forced conversions, destroying entire cities, among others. Western culture fears Islam because of that to this day, and rightfully so.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Well if there is a such thing as Mexican studies. I want to major in Selma Hayek

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Salma...

  • Mark22||

  • Flinch||

    Leave my wife out of it.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Sorry, but you appear indoctrinated and therfore incapable of analyzing this correctly.

    As others have pointed out, historically humanities 100 series has been to teach historical foundations of western thought and those foundations come from the Greeks and Romans.

    This focus wasn't considered racist in the past, because western culture brought us freedom and more equality and greater wealth and greater life expectancies and an infinite number of other positive benefits as compared to all known alternatives.

    Furthermore, while it may all started with white men, freedom allows people of all cultures to become part of western culture should they agree with philosophical underpinnings at its foundation. Underpinnings which are almost universally recognized as being good such as humans having freedom to seek their own way to the life they want to love.

    And lastly, because the role of college is to prepare one for work and it was and is assumed most students when seeking, will most likely seek work somewhere which is underpinned by Western thought, it made sense that a humanities or history class for all students to focus of western thought.

  • Mark22||

    As others have pointed out, historically humanities 100 series has been to teach historical foundations of western thought and those foundations come from the Greeks and Romans.

    Bah! We all know that the foundation of proper Western Thought is Karla Marx, who, as we all know was a struggling black immigrant lesbian working girl and rape victim oppressed by the hetero cis-male white bourgeois patriarchy! /sarc

  • The Last American Hero||

    Xe wasn't in the original series, but will be when Marvel reboots it.

  • LarryA||

    "reparations for Humanities 110's history of erasing the histories of people of color, especially black people."
    Um.

    "Reparations" are supposed to be payments made to people who were wronged by the people who wronged them.

    Students who have already taken the class will get nothing from these changes. Neither will "people of color, especially black people." And History certainly won't be affected.

    Worst, the people who will pay the "reparations" are the incoming students, who will get less education for their tuition.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    And History certainly won't be affected.

    But it might be told very differently 15 years from now.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Heh. Solid point here.

  • Paper Wasp||

    So will the white kids receive "reparations" in subsequent years, for having their culture's essential works "erased"? Imma guess not.

    Why wouldn't proportional representation even be worth considering? How about a survey of lit course that's 73% white authors, 12% black authors, 1% Native American authors, 5% Asian authors, and 9% Central American authors?

  • Flinch||

    Make it stop. Good ideas don't have a color - throw out the prism of race along with its marxist messengers. The old soviet unions basic propganda structure against the US was always very simple: truth did not matter, but cleaving out sections/partitioning the US population did.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    If colleges continue to make themselves relevant like this, who knows how valuable a degree will be in ten years.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Yeah, the kid fetching your burger and fries will be so woke.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    He'll be a blogger.

  • Paper Wasp||

    In the yearbook office in college (early '90s), we had a bunch of yearbooks from other colleges around the country. We used to flip through the Liberty University yearbook and make savage fun of those Jesus-lovin' lily-white kids with their giant shellacked '80s hair and matching Sears ensembles. We figured out from the pics that there were two black kids in the entire student body: one male, one female, and they were dating each other. Lulz.

    Now, if I had to choose between sending a kid to Reed or sending one to Liberty, I'd choose Liberty because of this "purge all the white people ideas" garbage. Thanks, SJW gestapo, for making Liberty University seem like a reasonable place.

  • jdgalt1||

    When the fools who sign up for these classes with "blackwashed" curricula are done, their degrees will be useless for finding jobs. Unless it's at Starbucks, or at their alma mater if it's still in business by then.

    I see a huge weeding-out of universities coming across America and Britain. The only reason it hasn't begun already is that the worst offenders are state sponsored schools; but when the states can't borrow any more, guess what's the first thing they'll need to cut?

  • Paloma||

    Some places of employment still require a college degree - ANY college degree - for promotions, raises, and even entry. The degree doesn't have to have anything at all to do with the job you'll be doing. All the money for student loans is basically a fee to enter a career path and a huge one at that.

    I hope you're right about the "weeding out".

  • Mark22||

    Some places of employment still require a college degree - ANY college degree - for promotions, raises, and even entry.

    And those places will do poorly in the market.

  • Flinch||

    It's stupid, but it's a band aid for the fact that HS diplomas have achieved near toilet paper status where government schools are concerned. [Just think: Bernie wants to do for college what the public schools teachers unions have done to a HS diploma by disconnecting students from any notion that they are a customer]. When people entering college mostly need remedial writing and math assistance... that is the same thing bugging employers. Poor language skills do not impress customers. Being math impaired can make customers go away altogether. I wish a group of companies would pick a school district and sue them for the fraudulent diplomas issued. No, those diplomas are not a guarantee of subject mastery, but they should be a reasonable assurance and they fail miserably in so many states. I look at the job of say, a bank teller. Do they really need a college degree? No. They need to have good communication skills, deal with simple math quickly, and be friendly. The guy coming in to make his weekly business deposits doesn't give a rip about what's on that tellers c.v. - they just want it to go in the right account without a hassle.

  • Mark22||

    I see a huge weeding-out of universities coming across America and Britain.

    It's already happening: more and more education will move away from institutions to online.

    Just like the taxi cartels facing Uber, universities will try to maintain some power through credentialism, but long term, they will fail because they simply don't produce much that's worthwhile.

  • Flinch||

    There is an oversupply of universities, and one proof is what's published by more and more professors playing the tenure game. Not every teacher has a book/periodical quota in them, and the whole system is in trouble on account of cleverness without wisdom, with cracked rubrics being developed for publishing just to come up with a "new" thing. The least painful unwinding seems to be universities re-think tenure [with a clean sheet of paper], and yet there will still be some institutions needing closure in the next decade or so. If they kick the can and cling to current tenure madness the pain will be much worse - especially if a student loan crisis causes simultaneous recalibrations. And...I do believe there will be a loan crisis. It won't look like the FNM/FRE implosion as the underwritten product is different, but when young people ask hard questions like "house, or loan?" [it's already started] and a construction job might get the house paid off in 20 years but with a loan in the mix it's a 45 year debt load... alot of people will just go to work and come out ahead. Bernies solution to this coming crisis is to sweep it under the mat of course: just gift monies directly to universities in exchange for perpetual servitude of the nation [whether they chose to attend college or not]. Gee... a loan with no sunset and permanent payments for life? Normally that would be a RICO case against loansharks, but when its the government that goes first it's a "program".

  • BYODB||


    The activists already lobbied successfully for the Hum 110 (as it is called) curriculum to be altered, through a series of protests in early April.


    I had no idea students were supposed to tell their professors what to teach them, but then again this is an inevitable result of public education I suppose.

  • Empress Trudy||

    They should abandon literacy entirely

  • Velaphi Mamba||

    They already have.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If by "they" you mean Trump and his half-educated backwater followers, who favor random capitalization and Tea Party spelling while rejecting "elites" and their fancy degrees and standard English, good point.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Arthur L. Hicklib and his AIDS-infected hot takes.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Being libertarian does not mean one must embrace illiteracy, ignorance, intolerance, and the like.

    Being conservative might, though.

  • ashwani||

    I'm really not looking forward to the mandatory Diversity studies classes (I think two are required). I'm hoping that the classes being online will help me to not get tossed out...IGNOU Re Registration

  • Flinch||

    Ooh. Maoism 101...
    Sue for fraud. A university is supposed to be an institution of higher learning.

  • vek||

    The problem with all this harping on Eurocentricness is that much of the rest of the world never did anything worth studying, and/or didn't write it down.

    Basically you have Europe, the middle east, India, and China. Nowhere else did enough of any significance to give a shit about until recent times if at all. That's just reality. You can't have a course on Ancient African Philosophy because none exists in writing!

    If they were smart they would have thrown in Indian and Chinese stuff since they actually had real writings of substance. Mexico City FFS?! It's a joke.

  • Miter Broller||

    Sorry, I just left my crying closet. What were you talking about again?

  • Abu Nudnik||

    A curriculum that presents the formative literature of Western culture is not "whitewashing" and not "discluding" anyone. MAKE ANOTHER COURSE TO SIT SIDE-BY-SIDE with it if you don't like it!

  • Mark22||

    Even if the ancient Mediterranean authors read in the course are considered "white," it's odd to claim that they contain little to no value, especially when taught through a critical lens.

    Ah, the fundamental dilemma of critical theory: what are you going to criticize if you censor all mention of the things you want to criticize!

    Marxists really aren't too bright, are they.

  • Johnniebgoode||

    Glad to see the professors pushing back. Idiocy.

  • Septic Service Owasso||

    Yeah, chances are just like every other time in history two empires met, there would have been battles and wars between the two, since the Natives would soon develop the boats and guns the Europeans had.

  • Flinch||

    So the search for so called "diversity" needs blindfolds and wholesale discarding portions of history, eh? Oregon has a mental health crisis. Meanwhile, institutions that want to remain bastions of thought need to bounce out students with this little brainpower - refund tuition to avoid lawsuits if necessary, but save the institution. Does MS 13 design prisons? No, so alumni from any university seeing administration bend to cater to the vacuous, get moving: your alma mater is dying. Remind them that diversity is a function of freedom, and where they put diversity first they have put the cart in front of the horse and will destroy both with their mendacity. Don't take this crap, and do something for those who will follow is my attitude.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    It is always disappointing to see people at one of our strongest (liberal-libertarian) schools briefly emulate the yahoos who operate conservative-controlled campuses, which are shackled by continuous censorship, speech codes, loyalty oaths, the teaching of nonsense, conduct codes, suppression of science to flatter superstition, rejection of academic freedom and free inquiry, and viewpoint-based discrimination in hiring, admissions, and administration.

    When conservatives get control at a school, the result is a third- or fourth-tier (if not unranked) goober factory that struggles to maintain sketchy accreditation and produces downscale right-wing snowflakes. The liberal-libertarian alliance has Yale, Berkeley, Columbia, Michigan, Reed, Williams, Harvard, Wellesley, and a hundred like them. Republicans and conservatives have Francisan, Biola, Regent, Liberty, Hillsdale, Bob Jones, Ave Maria, and a hundred like them.

    Carry on, clingers. More ineffectual ankle-biting aimed at your betters, maybe.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    It is always disappointing to see people at one of our strongest (liberal-libertarian) schools briefly emulate the yahoos who operate conservative-controlled campuses

    Arthur L. Hicklib's lack of self-awareness is the best part of one-note shitposts.

  • Miter Broller||

    Easy fixes here Reed. Change the name of Humanities 101 to Early Western Influences 101 (and keep it a required course). Then to appease the snowflakes create World Literature 101 and make it a required course as well. Children get what they want and you get more money from their parents. Win win!!!

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    This is 100% right and a perfect solution to the problem. Except for the "keep it a required course" part. Maybe part of the resentment on the parts of the students comes from being forced to take this particular class. Maybe the true solution involves the ability to take the course you want to satisfy the degree you want (many universities offer a "custom major", for example).

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Lulz. Oregon. No white people in Oregon! These spoiled children crack me up.

  • TxJack 112||

    You do not correct the errors of racism by engaging in racism. Progressives are idiots and it is hilarious that every solution they have to address the issues of racism and inequality begins with racism and oppression. Politics is a circle, not a line and in that circle, communism and fascism are next to each other which actions such as these only prove to be true.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Progressives are idiots.

    Conservatives are bigots.

    Republicans are half-educated goobers.

    Faux libertarians are substandard people.

    Where is the hope for America?

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    "The idea that Hum 110 is a 'white' course is very strange to me," Professor Jay Dickson tells Reed Magazine. "It presupposes that our contemporary racial categories are timeless."

    That logic doesn't add up. They're saying it's a "white" course because the people who are choosing the events to be covered (in contemporary-land) have a bias.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Yes, let the children decide the topics of the class... What could go wrong?

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    That's kinda the norm, including in the (libertarian-advocated) unschooling model. And even in Montessori to a certain extent. Medical schools are also moving in that direction. Most graduate schools have adopted this strategy for quite some time.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with the students dictating content. Especially in classes like history, where there's already a hell of a lot of cherry picking already going on.

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  • JWC||

    As if anticipating these Reed nitwits, Shakespeare, a white male European, wrote,
    "...man, proud man,
    Dress'd in a little brief authority,
    Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd—
    His glassy essence—like an angry ape
    Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
    As makes the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
    Would all themselves laugh mortal."

  • Schizoidman_21||

    I'll agree in some companies, particularly Tech or finance focused, an employee with just 'any' degree would seem silly - any job/career that requires specialized training or knowledge must get it somewhere. But there are plenty of jobs out there where a bachelors degree of any kind says to an employer this person can learn and has the disipline to finsh a four year degree.

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