Sunday, February 23, 2020

Dumbing Down the Classics at Oxford

Apparently, the august dons of Oxford University have tuned in to today’s woke culture. They have discovered, to their chagrin, that male and female Classics students do not achieve at quite the same level. As Charlotte Allen remarks, the problem is that female students underachieve. The proposed solution: to remove study of epic poems about warfare, poems like the Iliad and the Aeneid. 

Let’s see: women are just as strong and just as fierce as men. Thus, only the most bigoted citizen would even imagine that women are not strong enough to belong to the military. But now, when faced with texts that merely dramatize warrior strength and ferocity, we discover that women are consistently underperforming. The reason: they cannot wrap their minds around warfare.

The irony is so pungent you can smell it on this side of the Atlantic.

So, the dons want to modernize the classics. Apparently they do not know an oxymoron when they see it. Another reason is that some Classics students did not learn enough Greek and Latin in their high schools. Perhaps they were admitted for reasons that had nothing to do with merit. 

This is so stupid that you would think that it was coming from the United States and its much vaunted indoctrination mills.

The Oxford Student has the story:

The Oxford Student has been notified about a proposal by the Classics faculty to remove the study of Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid from the Mods syllabus, a decision which has surprised many across the faculty.

This proposal forms part of a series of reforms aimed to modernise the first stage of the Classics degree, known as Moderations (Mods), which take place during Hilary term of second year for all students taking Classics courses across the university.

The Mods course, which is assessed by a set of ten exams at the end of Hilary, has been increasingly criticised in recent years, due to the attainment gaps found between male and female candidates, as well as between candidates who have studied Latin and/or Greek to A-Level (Course I) and those who have not (Course II).

The removal of Virgil and Homer papers, which take up two out of the ten Mods papers, have been marketed as a move that will reduce the attainment gaps and thus improve access to the subject.

Charlotte Allen concludes:

I don’t know how Oxford plans to pull off teaching classics without, um, teaching any classical literature–but maybe, so as to close those “attainment gaps” for female students, the dons can devote a few units to Helen of Troy’s body-positivity issues.

But, of course....


UbuMaccabee said...

Women should not have the franchise.

Sam L. said...

"The irony is so pungent you can smell it on this side of the Atlantic." I'm on the West Coast, and I can smell it!

The classics must be taken out and SHOT, and dumped in a cesspool!!!!!!11111!!!!!!

Sam L. said...

What Oxford should do is have a course or five on the books of George MacDonald Fraser.