Is this building up or dumbing down?
Don’t half ass it and just get rid of English as well.
Just don’t allow Non whites to take classics majors so they won’t be poor and in debt going to Princeton, problem solved. Don’t be blaming institutional racism when you are a barista with a 6 figure debt because you decided to take classics.
In some ways, I think it depends on class background. I got into law school in the UK but chose social sciences for post grad (albeit at a very good school) because it interested me, and I was not paying. But my goal has never been to make money (rather it has been to shape and influence things). So in the UK, I expect to see people in key positions in business, government etc. that have classicist educations. The city banker with a first class degree in Greek from Oxford, etc. Not the same as it was 30 years ago but still there nontheless.
The US and Canada, countries of the vulgar nouveaux riche and MBA/accreditation crazy to the extreme, classics will get you a McJob and fuckwads of debt. People define themselves by their jobs. Would have voted for Trump over Hillary in a millisecond but would probably enjoy the company of a William Weld or Bill Scranton Jr. over a Trump or Cruz type.
Different countries, different systems. Hate to see the US destroy all forms of tradition here though as institution should mean more than specialisation. But I am very old fashioned that way and think the woke culture is really dumbing down culture and eroding free speech, academic freedom, and interesting debate. And tradition.
In America, you can think Mcdonalds is the epitome of fine cuisine and be the leader.
Maybe this is what it takes in the UK
Don’t get me wrong, I had a classical education in HS and can appreciate it. But it’s not something a poor black kid should be taking at Princeton if he wants to get out of poverty. Put that kid in STEM or accounting.
And I can appreciate such Jacksonian elements. And like you mention, if upward mobility is the goal, go for accounting. But what dull conversation and dinner parties that would entail.
The French have it right — talk about sex 100X more than money. In other words, the Filthy Rodriguez rather than Financials.
Agreed, but they’re changing the classics curriculum to eliminate the classical languages. The kid got into princeton. No one is forcing him to take a classical curriculum. He can take a stem curriculum.
Now I am a casual person and I have no problem reading the English translation though, I would like the guys who write the commentary and the annotations to understand classical Languages to give us new insight and their own first hand feelings.
My guess would be that scholars of the Classics take up limited total university places. Removing the option should create more places on courses that people of colour are more likely to apply for.
That’s the only possible logic I can see, other than simply punishing people who are interested in the Classics. A lot of academic faculty are going to be out of a living.
EDIT: Sorry, I’ve now read the article. It’s the entry requirement that’s being removed.
No, I think they removed it for the entire undergraduate degree.
Classics majors at Princeton University will no longer be required to learn Greek or Latin. The change is part of the school’s attempt to give more students the opportunity to major in the discipline.
The school has also removed the “classics track,” which required intermediate proficiency in Greek or Latin to enter the concentration.
I can see doing this in a minor, if you’re studying anthropology or economics, and minoring in the Classical area, though even then it would be hard- like studying Tang demographics without being able to read Chinese. For a major, I can’t see it.
… is as valuable as somebody who majored in medieval Japanese history or 19th C German philosophy. The heavy lifting here is being done by “first=class degree… from Oxford”. In the banker’s case it probably was not anything he learned, but the chance to rub shoulders with those in the best clubs. Not the same as it was thirty years ago, because in finance (unlike politics) you’re supposed to know what you’re doing. The “Gentleman’s C” ( or “Gentleman’s Third”) doesn’t quite cut it.
They’re changing it from the classics to classical history and philosophy, I assume. I’m not sure how they’re going to study classical literature effectively with the linguistic element removed.
Seems a bit odd to me.
The discussion is largely in response to an early February New York Times Magazine profile of Dan-el Padilla Peralta, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who is now a professor of classics at Princeton University—and who believes that the classical tradition is inextricably bound with white supremacy and that his discipline, as presently constituted, may not deserve a future.
He’s talking himself out of a job.
Really- let’s study in an area where there are few- but not no- black people. Then let’s complain we’re not studying many black people.
You can study Asian Area studies- economics, geography, literature in translation- but to study Asian Studies you have to study a language (may have got the names mixed up- it’s been a long time).
The classics used to be let’s study in an area where are few - but not no - people from poor backgrounds. Nobody complained, or if they did nothing changed. Classism wasn’t effective.
I appreciate I am clearly from a different mindset to you. Poor people being refused entry into classical degrees because of their background was accepted for decades or even a century or two. Alter the issue to skin colour and major changes are made within a year or two.
Poor people and other minorities were refused entry into universities, period. Harvard instituted its geographical diversity program to prevent New York City Jews with better academic records from crowding out rich Wasps. Catholics, Dissenters, and Jews were forbidden from entering Cambridge and Harvard.
Even Karl Marx- when Napoleon took over Trier, he abolished antisemitic laws. When he was defeated, the Catholic and Lutheran clergy got together to reinstitute the ban on Jews going to the university, so Karl Marx’s father, a fairly secular Jew, converted to Lutheranism so his son could go to college (talk about blowback).
Don’t even mention women- or blacks…
I think these are all terrible reasons for people not being allowed into university. The average Ivy Leaguer comes from a wealthy family, and has advantages others don’t have. This should be changed.
I just think if your major is French poetry, say, you should be able to speak French- by the time you graduate
I think what everyone is trying to say is that they wanna make more money. Universities are in fact a business, regardless oftheir arrogance and pathetic attempts at claiming otherwise. Makes sense. But using the racial card to pull this kind of face saving nonsense is somewhat silly. not only do they look like morons, they also weaken the real racial challenges that exist by pulling this petty shit to make more money. To cheapen racism movements like this, they seem kinda dumb for smart guys.