December 13, 2017

English as a disposable college major

Chronicle of High Education -  I am a college English instructor. This is a bad time for my species — and a bad time for the study of English. In academe, we are witnessing an extinction of fields of study once thought essential. I teach at a private university that has just canceled majors in English, religious studies, philosophy, and music. The English major is becoming the useless gentleman, the Charles Smithson, of the modern university.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I see little use for English studies, and none at all for religious studies.

By the late teens, most Anglophones are already as fluent as they'll ever be. I learned English grammar while learning Russian, framed up with the same terms in which Russian was framed. And it made sense, which it certainly had not done when taught the US way.

If religious studies where taught based on its role as propaganda and social control, that might be helpful. But it never is, nor would be.

On the other hand, music --an art form and skill-- is important, and philosophy might be a meta-skill, depending on how taught.