The point here is not to censure the course for its contemporary, multiculturalist focus. Prof. McNaron and CIS have, in fact, developed machinery to ensure college-level teacher and student performance. We needn’t judge the works on the reading list, either. Instead, what matters is the active exclusion of the great tradition from Chaucer to Austen to Joyce — from the Puritans to Frederick Douglass to Edith Wharton. If a school chooses to teach pre-1950s English and American literature, students can’t earn college credit. In effect, the university tells schools, “If you study Melville, Emily Bronte and Du Bois, not Boa Ninh, Cormac McCarthy and Julie Otsuka, you can’t participate.”
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