Read The Forum Rules: We have a clear set of rules to keep the forum running smoothly. Click here to review them.

Post Reply 
Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
Author Message
Bacchus Offline
Ostrich
****

Posts: 1,909
Joined: Sep 2012
Reputation: 40
Post: #1
Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
Well, this is good news coming out of Canada.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertain...ple/69880/

A professor of literature has been teaching a curriculum of books written by men. He described his class in an interview:

Quote:I’m not interested in teaching books by women. Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one of her short stories. But once again, when I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women. Except for Virginia Woolf. And when I tried to teach Virginia Woolf, she’s too sophisticated, even for a third-year class. Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth.

That's a good reading list. Predictably, he's had to apologize when the angry set exploded in rage and demanded his execution.

Here's the professor:

[Image: article-2432897-18466B9300000578-624_306x423.jpg]
09-26-2013 08:59 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 8 users Like Bacchus's post:
PoosyWrecker, Kingsley Davis, Vacancier Permanent, Handsome Creepy Eel, eradicator, Veloce, Tresor, Swooper
TheSlayer Offline
Pelican
****

Posts: 1,729
Joined: Nov 2012
Reputation: 18
Post: #2
RE: Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
I saw this yesterday and the social media outrage was in full-effect the last couple of days. Even University of Toronto where he teaches issued a statement saying that he doesn't belong to the English department and they don't stand by what he said.

Of course the media didn't emphasize that he also said that he doesn't necessarily think men are better writers than women, he just relates to men better. If a feminist says she relates to women better it's fine but a man can't say he relates to men better.

I wouldn't be surprised if he's fired from UofT.


Edit: I saw that you linked the Atlantic Wire but I saw all of this in Globe and Mail which is Canada's second biggest newspaper.

Here are some excerpts from an interview talking about his comments:

Quote:People are calling you a sexist for refusing to teach books by women. Were your statements in Hazlitt misrepresented in any way?

They were totally, totally misinterpreted. I said, look, I’m a middle-aged writer and I am interested in middle-aged writers. I’m very keen on people’s lives who resemble mine because I understand those lives and I can feel passionately about them – and I teach best when I teach subjects that I’m passionate about.

So in order to teach, you have to relate?

I believe that if you want to teach the way I want to teach, you have to be able to feel this stuff in your bones. Other teachers don’t, but I don’t think other teachers necessarily teach with the same degree of commitment and passion that I do – I don’t know.

You don’t actually believe that men are superior to women in their literary prowess?

God no. Writers like Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro – these are top-flight international writers. It’s just that I don’t connect with the material as profoundly as I do with, say, Phillip Roth’s The Dying Animal.

Link: David Gilmour responds after remarks on female writers spark outrage

The Globe and Mail went after this guy yesterday with 3 different articles. They did fail in their efforts to shame the guy and create a fake controversy over nothing. Some of the gems:

Quote:Sigh, so sad. Universities falling prey to shock journalism and failing to protect an author for discussing his personal preferences. U of T - you should be ashamed of you

Quote:Good God ....

Since when do people, including teachers, have to be all things to all people?

He doesn't connect with women writers - big deal.
Our "free societies" are becoming straightjackets of political correctness which will eventually stifle any original thought.

Quote:Can help but to think that departmental mountains of being made from adjunct professors mole hills.

Mr. Gilmour has done what I would expect of teaching at the post secondary level, namely, challenging conventions and preconceptions.

U of T, when did you become so boring and

Link: U of T’s English department head ‘appalled’ at Gilmour’s comments

The comments do make me feel better about the whole thing.

I can guarantee you anything if one of the stupid feminist professors said, "I don't want to teach books by men in my class because they don't understand feminism and I can't relate to them", nobody would have even said a word.
(This post was last modified: 09-26-2013 09:16 PM by TheSlayer.)
09-26-2013 09:06 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 5 users Like TheSlayer's post:
Kingsley Davis, Vacancier Permanent, Handsome Creepy Eel, eradicator, freewheeler
kosko Offline
Peacock
******
Gold Member

Posts: 6,840
Joined: Sep 2011
Reputation: 146
Post: #3
RE: Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
He must be tenured to have balls like that openly but as a real professor and not some establishment shill going through the motions he is being real and pushing boundaries like he's supposed to. Denying the holocaust is probably the only shit that can break iron clad tenures but they will probably bleed him dry of funding forcing him to quit or go elsewhere.

Uoft is femnazi central and the centre of all "progressive" (man-hating) Femenist studies. I'm chilling with a bunch of uoft girls right now all are openly talking about getting sick tonight non-challant. I've fuked one of them, other hot one is to tall the rest I'll pass. All have set goals for pipe tonight, 3 haven't showerd.. This is the modern Femenist woman. Why would a prof want to waste time on these girls and not a bunch of men whom of interested will listen and take in his advice. My mentors, I don't brown-nose but I stay engaged and ask the right questions always. For me any time I can ask questions about how it really is I take it. They know this and share what they can, the females ask shit about dumb classmates or ironic questions they can ask themselves - or they bluntly suck up for favors, anybody whom sees how they network knows how they roll.

I hope this guy survives the sharks it would be a good example of both the redundant school system of hierarchies and tenure, but also a slap to whiny troll feminists whom have nothing better to do but troll people keeping it real.

Write emails the dean of his faculty outlying the needs for men-on-men guidance that women enjoy plentifully in University. Any female group in Uni has THE largest student group budget BY-FAR. All these groups fund lazy rape call workers whom sit around and answer calls from girls whom got to nice of a compliment at burger king from the guy taking thier order. I'll probably have a post-bang report but hopefully from none of these, but I've been drinking so who knows. The fatty just tried to open me, I told her her pants make her look like a sack of potatoes. Haha fuck.
09-26-2013 10:53 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 3 users Like kosko's post:
Suits, Vacancier Permanent, King Solomon
Vacancier Permanent Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 4,452
Joined: Mar 2010
Reputation: 140
Post: #4
RE: Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
Standing ovation to guy with balls!
However he dropped the ball when asked if he thought men to be superior than woman in literary capacity. I would have answered if this is a joke or a serious question!

Speaking of female writers of international reknown, can anyone enlighten me and name at least 5 female writers of world class quality? as I cant name one even if my life depended on it.
09-27-2013 12:22 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Vacancier Permanent's post:
Kingsley Davis
lskdfjldsf Offline
Kingfisher
***
Gold Member

Posts: 932
Joined: Jul 2013
Reputation: 51
Post: #5
RE: Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
(09-27-2013 12:22 AM)Vacancier Permanent Wrote:  Speaking of female writers of international reknown, can anyone enlighten me and name at least 5 female writers of world class quality? as I cant name one even if my life depended on it.

The only internationally renown female authors out there became famous, coincidentally, as feminism took root in universities during the late 60's and 70's. Before then, the few female writers out there used male pseudonyms if they wanted to be taken seriously. Not out of "sexism" but simply because an upper-middle class woman (those who could read/write) had neither the life experience nor perspective to rival the masterpieces of men at the time.

It's a literary affirmative action policy and historically, has no basis on merit or achievement. Look at Jane Eyre as an example, it's the most boring, uneventful, and uninspiring book out there (based on the struggles and woes of an ugly, dopey Victorian-era English girl) but is now mandatory reading in most academic circles.

I remember discussing this in a course once, because the handful of feminists in the English Lit class complained there were no pre-Victorian female writers on our syllabus. Caused a huge argument and even the self-proclaimed feminist professor was at a loss for words. If 19/20 great writers at the time were male, how can a university uphold academic integrity by skewing the numbers by gender?
(This post was last modified: 09-27-2013 01:36 AM by lskdfjldsf.)
09-27-2013 01:20 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes lskdfjldsf's post:
Vacancier Permanent
Handsome Creepy Eel Online
Owl
******
Gold Member

Posts: 12,554
Joined: Apr 2011
Reputation: 169
Post: #6
RE: Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
Quote:Speaking of female writers of international reknown, can anyone enlighten me and name at least 5 female writers of world class quality? as I cant name one even if my life depended on it.

My favorite poem was written by the Polish woman named Wislawa Szymborska, who also won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1996. I heartily recommend it:

http://thehousecat.blogspot.com/2007/06/...stone.html

That said, I hate the shallow "road trip" motive that seems to be common in literature nowadays and is propagated mainly by female writers. Despite of Mrs. Szymborska, I would readily agree that men have produced a vast majority of notable literary works (both in history and now), and thus it's natural that people identify with them more. We shouldn't force anyone to teach writers that weren't notable just to spare someone's feelings.

"Imagine" by HCE | Hitler reacts to Battle of Montreal | An alternative use for squid that has never crossed your mind before
09-27-2013 02:34 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Handsome Creepy Eel's post:
Vacancier Permanent
eradicator Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 6,401
Joined: May 2013
Reputation: 44
Post: #7
RE: Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
(09-27-2013 12:22 AM)Vacancier Permanent Wrote:  Speaking of female writers of international reknown, can anyone enlighten me and name at least 5 female writers of world class quality? as I cant name one even if my life depended on it.


one of my useless degrees was in English

Off the top of my head, these are all writers you probably have read

JK Rowling (Harry Potter)
Harper Lee (To Kill a mockingbird)
Hariet Beecher Stowe(Uncle Tom's Cabin)
Virginia Woolf (To the lighthouse)
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the wind)

I agree that the professor shouldn't be teaching about writers unless he loves them. If he is lukewarm or "meh" about them, get someone else to teach that class. But if you want to try to say "women can't write great fiction", that is just being silly.
09-27-2013 03:00 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
j r Offline
Ostrich
****

Posts: 2,072
Joined: Sep 2011
Reputation: 23
Post: #8
RE: Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
I'm going to go against the current here and say that is pretty absurd and just a different spin on the postmodern mentality that reigns supreme right now. About the best thing you can say is that no woman or minority would be given shit for only wanting to teach literature written by women or minorities. But that's not saying a whole lot. What this guy is saying is that he's a white middle-aged guy who can only relate to other white middle-aged guys.

The whole point of art and literature is to reach outside of your own life and experience and learn something about how other people think and live. The whole " I can only teach what I love" sounds like a cop out. How many people can get away with saying something like that at their jobs? Imagine some dude working at Walmart saying, "Yeah, I'll stock the electronics aisles, because I love electronics, but don't expect me to work in hardware, because it's not my passion."

The problem with postmodernism and identity studies is that it can turn education I to an exercise in solipsism as opposed to an endeavor aimed at understanding the objective world outside of your own head. This guy is doing the exact same thing. If he's interested in a particular literary niche, fine. Do research on it and teach it, but the inability to teach anything else kind if makes him a shitty professor.
09-27-2013 03:20 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Architekt Offline
Ostrich
****

Posts: 2,254
Joined: Apr 2012
Reputation: 12
Post: #9
RE: Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
(09-27-2013 03:20 AM)j r Wrote:  Imagine some dude working at Walmart saying, "Yeah, I'll stock the electronics aisles, because I love electronics, but don't expect me to work in hardware, because it's not my passion."

That's an incredibly flawed example. The sales people in many stores do indeed stick to the area(s) they know best.

As for the person doing stock?

He's taking things and putting them on shelves. He isn't interacting with the items in any other way. For the purposes of this situation, these items aren't different in any way whatsoever.

However, you wouldn't then grab that person, who has only ever stocked shelves, and tell him to go work on the checkout. He has little or no experience in that area and would probably make mistakes or just generally waste time.

Quote:The problem with postmodernism and identity studies is that it can turn education I to an exercise in solipsism as opposed to an endeavor aimed at understanding the objective world outside of your own head. This guy is doing the exact same thing. If he's interested in a particular literary niche, fine. Do research on it and teach it, but the inability to teach anything else kind if makes him a shitty professor.

...Perhaps this is why he's a professor in this field?
09-27-2013 03:33 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Architekt's post:
eradicator
j r Offline
Ostrich
****

Posts: 2,072
Joined: Sep 2011
Reputation: 23
Post: #10
RE: Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
^^^ Again, there's nothing wrong with having an interest or specialization in one particular area of work. However, If you are a professor of literature who can only teach classes on that one particular area, then you're not a very good professor.

If you work at Walmart and you know electronics, then you'd probably be best working in electronics. However, if the store manager comes over to you one day and asks you to cover a shift in the hardware section, are you going to tell him that you can't because you don't love hardware?

I guess if you're one I the world's preeminent experts on a particular genre, then it makes sense to focus on that genre. This guy just comes across as lazy, though. It's like he doesn't want to do the work to teach anything outside of his own experience.

If this were a woman saying the same thing about female authors, I don't think anyone on the forum would have a problem calling her solipsistic.
09-27-2013 03:44 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
lskdfjldsf Offline
Kingfisher
***
Gold Member

Posts: 932
Joined: Jul 2013
Reputation: 51
Post: #11
RE: Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
(09-27-2013 03:20 AM)j r Wrote:  The whole point of art and literature is to reach outside of your own life and experience and learn something about how other people think and live. The whole " I can only teach what I love" sounds like a cop out. How many people can get away with saying something like that at their jobs? Imagine some dude working at Walmart saying, "Yeah, I'll stock the electronics aisles, because I love electronics, but don't expect me to work in hardware, because it's not my passion."

Valid points, but only when assuming other professors do that themselves. If you look at the full context of the situation across multiple disciplines, the problem is that there is absolutely no focus on male literature from anyone, anywhere. That's an enormous problem when heterosexual white males are no longer the majority in a classroom; as student bodies diversify, isn't the burden on the university to provide them with insight outside of their own backgrounds?

On the other hand:

I got my degree in Germanic Languages & Literatures, and the coursework exclusively focused on the most influential German/Austrian/Swiss writers. Goethe, Nietsche, Schiller, up until the interwar period ending with Remarque. Gender and race played no role. Perhaps it's a coincidence because those countries have never been as ethnically/culturally diverse as today, but in disciplines focused on achievements and literary works within a specific geographic region and/or time frame, "diversity" takes a back seat. The best authors, the most renowned authors, get the most coverage, and that's exactly how it should be.

Specialized instruction is always best.

Now take a look at your standard literature courses that aren't framed in a linguistic/historical context, such as the course the professor in the article teaches. Even though there are specific fields - subjects you could major in - dedicated to black literature, female literature, etc. the exact same subject matter is disproportionately taught in general courses.

It's to the point now where there needs to be a specific class made with the sole purpose of teaching historically/culturally significant pieces without regards to race or gender.

The professor is sticking to academic principle, he has the full legal and moral authority to teach what he knows best, and should be able to do so without obstruction. It would be a different story if there were no African Studies, Women Studies, Gender Studies, Persian Studies, etc. or other disciplines that already provide students with the same academic value and insight.
(This post was last modified: 09-27-2013 03:52 AM by lskdfjldsf.)
09-27-2013 03:49 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Ocelot Offline
Kingfisher
***
Gold Member

Posts: 728
Joined: May 2013
Reputation: 47
Post: #12
RE: Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
(09-27-2013 03:20 AM)j r Wrote:  I'm going to go against the current here and say that is pretty absurd and just a different spin on the postmodern mentality that reigns supreme right now. About the best thing you can say is that no woman or minority would be given shit for only wanting to teach literature written by women or minorities. But that's not saying a whole lot. What this guy is saying is that he's a white middle-aged guy who can only relate to other white middle-aged guys.

The whole point of art and literature is to reach outside of your own life and experience and learn something about how other people think and live. The whole " I can only teach what I love" sounds like a cop out. How many people can get away with saying something like that at their jobs? Imagine some dude working at Walmart saying, "Yeah, I'll stock the electronics aisles, because I love electronics, but don't expect me to work in hardware, because it's not my passion."

The problem with postmodernism and identity studies is that it can turn education I to an exercise in solipsism as opposed to an endeavor aimed at understanding the objective world outside of your own head. This guy is doing the exact same thing. If he's interested in a particular literary niche, fine. Do research on it and teach it, but the inability to teach anything else kind if makes him a shitty professor.

Really? I think the only reason this is even a story is because of identity politics. If a professor in the maths department only taught topology, because that's his speciality and what he loves, I doubt there'd be any outrage at the fact he never teaches matrices.

Ocelot's reading list for those interested in musical composition
Ocelot's older, less focused list of books on music in general
To anyone who's leaving, my inbox is open.
09-27-2013 03:54 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The Lizard of Oz Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 5,210
Joined: Aug 2013
Reputation: 266
Post: #13
RE: Professor of Literature Teaches Only Male Authors
Doctor Johnson on female writers (preachers, same thing):

Quote:I told him I had been that morning at a meeting of the people called Quakers, where I had heard a woman preach. Johnson: "Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

That about covers it.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
09-27-2013 07:35 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes The Lizard of Oz's post:
Kingsley Davis
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Contact Us | RooshV.com | Return to Top | Return to Content | Mobile Version | RSS Syndication