November 10, 2017

Caribbean backgrounds

My question is: why should anyone need to be reassured that works by deceased white men will continue to feature very prominently? And why does the author implicitly equate these works with "academic rigour”? I hear arguments like this all the time when it comes to inclusion and diversity in higher education. They give me pause. The point about decolonising curricula is to include voices that have previously been excluded. That doesn’t mean throwing entire literary traditions out the door. It does mean that greatness in literature isn’t very narrowly defined or linked to only one particular class. Can we not be inclusive and also rigorous? And if one day our canons don’t look the way they do today, would that really be all that bad? Perhaps students would, perish the thought, learn something new. I hope we can get to a time when arguments like these don’t need to be made. They’re tiresome, and playing into unfounded fears of "irrelevance” is also just bad politics.
Gascia Ouzounian
Associate professor of music, University of Oxford


 

• I can’t speak for Cambridge, but in my English department at a Harrogate comprehensive school, over the years we taught texts by VS Naipaul, Derek Walcott, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, ER Braithwaite, Samuel Selvon, Chinua Achebe, and Wole Soyinka, all of which were on exam board syllabuses, not to mention "poems from other cultures”, which was a longstanding component of GCSE English. It seems surprising that a degree level syllabus should not reflect the diversity of texts studied at A-level and GCSE.

Ken Gambles
Knaresborough, North Yorkshire

• Sadly Linda Bellos’s analysis of the teaching in Lambeth in the 80s is seriously flawed (Opinion, 29 October). I was head of sixth form at Tulse Hill school in the 1980s, the first in the country to introduce a multicultural curriculum. Between 1977 and 1989, 161 of our students went on to university, including Oxbridge, and polytechnics and of these, 93 were from ethnic minorities and 45 from African-. Amazingly, Tulse Hill was closed by Linda’s Lambeth council in 1990. A unique piece of educational vandalism.
Michael Edwards
London

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May 20, 2013

There is a desire to

The sun shining leaves, a touch of green warmth; flying all over the sky fluffy white floc, like an angel from the sky of poetry...... A picture of what a vivid picture! My heart suddenly rises a kind of touched.

Seeking to a the Peach Garden blockbuster of May, only to meet peach trees in blossom, it pink to shame, the full tree surrounded by peach together, such as sea waves. Bathed in the ten peach rain, heart cheong.

Trees, grass, flowers! Who is, the sky shed petals, has been charged with the moment.

The grass, found a unique unknown small flowers, the flowers so chic, open green flowers, still blossom in the flowers. With five petals purple flowers, each flower shy low head, but obvious flaunt a stubborn personality. Yellow daisies in full bloom, it is little and dainty, warm tranquility nestled in the receptacle, a cappella song and song.

Beside the Peach Garden, is a forest, in the shade of the trees, bath fragrance. The world can be so quiet.

The wind blowing trees, leaves rustling sound, as if a long time no hear this sound. I was listening, listening to the voice of nature in a, a light cannot the light sound, this is a kind of can pass through the voice of the soul.

I'm looking forward to, is not such a quiet? I desire, is not quiet in this sound?

This is a holy place is wrapped, this is a life care places, thick green grass such as tassels, wonderful, a few birds to shout, holy poplar tree they should be tonight home. When the river of life such as Teana like regression halcyon, whether I can out from the soil. The most recent and warm feelings, with the quiet beauty handshake?

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