Monday, June 27, 2022

About literature

Two responses to the decision of Sheffield Hallam University to suspend its English literature course, apparently attempting, if not to define literature, to explain what it’s for. The first, from a senior lecturer in that department.
“When was it ever more important in our history for young people to be able to manipulate language and to understand how they are manipulated by language and stories?”
And the second, from the government minister responsible for Hallam and all the other universities, and someone who’s probably a bit nervous about scenario implied by the above:
“Courses that do not lead students on to work or further study fail both the students who pour their time and effort in, and the taxpayer who picks up a substantial portion of the cost.”
(Image: the author and some of his university chums manipulating language in a manner with which the minister might have taken issue, circa 1989.)

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