Your current web browser is outdated. For best viewing experience, please consider upgrading to the latest version.

Donation - Other Level

Please use the quantity box to donate any amount you wish. Sign Up to Donate


Send a question or comment using the form below. This message may be routed through support staff.

Email Article

Password Reset Request


Add a topic or expert to your feed.


Follow Experts & Topics

Stay on top of our work by selecting topics and experts of interest.

On The Ground
Main Error Mesage Here
More detailed message would go here to provide context for the user and how to proceed
Main Error Mesage Here
More detailed message would go here to provide context for the user and how to proceed

Manhattan Institute

Close Nav
Share this commentary on Close

Does Harvard Consider Oscar Wilde 'Marginalized'?


Does Harvard Consider Oscar Wilde 'Marginalized'?

The Wall Street Journal March 31, 2017
EducationHigher Ed
OtherCulture & Society

A new requirement to study authors kept down by 'racism, patriarchy and heteronormativity.'

Starting next fall, English majors at Harvard will be required to take a course in authors “marginalized for historical reasons.” Those “reasons” include “racism, patriarchy and heteronormativity,” the English Department’s chairman, James Simpson, told the Harvard Crimson.

Campus agitation for an identity-based curriculum is by now drearily familiar. But Harvard’s recent mandate goes further, creating a new literary typology: On one side are the marginalized authors; on the other, authors who, by implication, may have benefited from “racism, patriarchy and heteronormativity.” Academia has already furnished unlettered students with excuses aplenty to ignore the greatest works of Western civilization. Now they’ve got another one.

The Harvard English major imposes few substantive demands: a one-semester survey spanning the millennium from 700 to 1700; a semester of poetry; a course that serves as a vehicle for immigration and postcolonial themes; and one semester of Shakespeare. After that, students are on their own, free to fill out their credits with random classes in literature, theory, creative writing, or “related courses” outside the English Department.

In other words, Harvard, like virtually every other college today....

Read the entire piece here at The Wall Street Journal


Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contributing editor at City Journal, and the author of The War on Cops.