Universities Attack the Classics

Today I learned that Princeton University is no longer requiring Greek and Latin of its CLASSICS majors. Why? To combat racism.  See here and here.

Well, all hail the racism of low expectations. This is a travesty. Classics is one of the key disciplines in a proper education in the humanities and if one doesn’t have Latin and Greek, then one should not major in Classics. Better yet, instead of gutting this discipline, maybe Princeton should do the sensible thing and offer classes in Latin and Greek for ALL incoming students: four years of learning these key languages won’t hurt anyone. Better yet, maybe stop catering to woke-ness and start doing what the students pay you to do: focus on education. 

What you will have now, in your “Classics” students, are ill-educated kids who are dependent on other people’s opinions i.e. translations for access to the key texts that helped to shape the Western world. Instead of educating, Princeton is crippling them.  It makes me sick. I taught myself Latin and Greek. My Greek isn’t great but it’s passable. Was this difficult? Yes. Was it doable? Also yes. Cutting Classics programs doesn’t do a damned thing to combat racism. What it does is tear apart those disciplines that offer students a window into the building blocks of Western Civilization, into literature and cultures that valued the cultivation of virtue, character, courage, and heroism. Of course the new religion of woke-ism wants to do away with those things. It offends their sense of degeneracy. If you have students who can only approach key texts via translation, then they are at the mercy of whoever is doing the translations. 

Princeton is not the only university to destroy its Classics program in the name of saving the student body from imagined racism. Howard University, one of the oldest historically black colleges in the US, and the only with a Classics program, recently announced its decision to close its Classics program too – something the student body is thankfully protesting because they at least, know the value of this field. Last year, there was a similar decision to remove certain key texts in Classics at Oxford too. 

Classics is for everyone and everyone can benefit from its study. In the perfect world, we’d be studying Latin from first grade and Greek from middle school and regardless of major, both would be required (at the very least) throughout undergraduate study. I’m still too stunned on learning of Princeton’s decision to comment further. Farewell to the Ivy league. 

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on June 21, 2021, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Why stop there? Let’s take evolution and cell theory out of biology! Let’s take economics out of business! Let’s take anatomy and physiology out of medicine! Let’s take gender out of gender studies! Wait they might actually try that one in favor of not wanting to offend non-binary folks..

    I can’t believe these liberals at times. Brilliant thinkers these guys are. Let’s stop racism by making people LESS educated! Yes. That’s totally going to help. That would have totally prevented my aunt from getting pulled over a few decades ago because her car looked “too nice for a Puerto Rican to be driving”. This totally will stop white women at the grocery store from harassing my grandmother when she’s speaking Spanish to herself because she’s “in America and needs to speak English!” This so would have made it impossible for those kids to spray paint “N*ggers!” on my grandfather’s garage door when my family first came to the mainland.

    I’m sorry but these people need to cut the bullshit. Absolutely none of this shit protects people like me. This is an attempt to control narratives and I’m sick at the thought of anyone applauding this in any way. I do not believe for an instant that any of this censorship or cutting of programs has any good intention

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Because not having to learn Latin and Greek in a Classics course is really going to give the middle finger to Neo-Nazis and other bigots. 🙄

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Stupidity abounds. Never did I thought it would reach these lows.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think it is just Classics…I was quite surprised a few years ago when a friend of mine managed to graduate from university with degrees in Slavic Studies and Russian Literature without speaking Russian or any other Slavic language. Similarly, another friend majored in Political Science with a very specific focus on Mexico, and spoke no Spanish. The argument given was that the departments were trying to be more accessible. With consistent budget cuts and waning interest they were taking pretty much any students they could get. Most students simply did not want to work at picking up another language. This didn’t make any sense to me. If we are going to learn anything from other people, shouldn’t we listen to them speak in their own words? So, yeah. *Inarticulate Screaming* is my reaction, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. viduraawakened

    Pardon me for saying something somewhat irrelevant to this, but we have a similar situation in India, where all you have to do is replace the words ‘Classics’ with ‘Sanskrit studies’ and ‘racism’ with ‘secularism’ (thanks to our beloved Abrahamic minorities) and you get the situation that you have just posted about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ganglerisgrove

      Yep, and I’ll bet that just like in Classics, when we encounter translations the polytheism and piety are translated out of the text. 😦

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      • Same shit in Japan, talking about religion strictly forbidden to students, even those training to become Shinto Priests.

        A Shinto priest got in trouble for calling Japan the Land of the Kami, but a Catholic Bishop can call it Christ’s Land.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. As for classics in general – various re-enacting groups (Roman and Greek) are redoing how they present things. Everyone does not want to be called racist, since SPQR has been used by fascists. All I can say is “oh for the love of Mike.” The Virginia Classics League is rewriting their presentations to show they are anti-slavery.

    My take is that Critical Race Theory is a religion that is promoted by universities and corporations. A minority of people subscribe to it but they want the great majority to be ruled by them. We now have religious police aka the woke shysters selling their books. Problem with CRT is that it destroys the communities that it seeks to elevate.

    I believe that the days of the universities are numbered since too many educated people do not have job skills and too much debt. I believe people are turning away and looking into being plumbers as the educated are trying to hang on to their power. They do it by emotionally blackmailing the rest of us. But it doesn’t work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ganglerisgrove

      I think Critical Race Theory is incredibly destructive and, yes, racist. It’s the last thing to which we should be exposing young people.

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  7. I’m having trouble figuring out how they got from “maybe we shouldn’t require people *entering* the discipline to already know an ancient language since many people aren’t privileged enough to have had access to such a language prior to college” – which makes a lot of sense and could lead to widening the field for all types of students (because let’s remember that poor people come in all colors) – to “let’s not make them *ever* learn the foundational languages of the topic they’re studying.” Because honestly, what are they saying here – that POC *can’t* learn ancient Greek and Latin, if given the opportunity, just as well as all the white students who have been doing it for centuries? That to require a diverse student body to have rigorous standards is somehow unfair to them? Because THAT seems like the racist part to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I mean, shit, there are millions of POCs that speak languages derived from Greek and Latin. If you’re speaking Spanish or French you’re speaking a language derived from Vulgar Latin. That’s already a step ahead of all the white kids who only speak English so it’s definitely not like people can’t learn

      Liked by 1 person

  8. All this virtue signaling like removing Classics (or the language requirements), is doing jack shit to fix actual real societal issues like systemic poverty and the epidemic of racial profiling and cops killing black people. Worse, this “woke” bullshit is making moderates who might be sympathetic to the struggle for equality, turn reactionary because it’s like walking on eggshells. It’s almost like this “woke” shit was engineered by people on the far-right to tear down the causes so-called “allies” think they’re promoting. Of course, anyone with half a brain can see how idiotic and non-common-sense it is to invest energy in trivial things (or the “everything white people did ever was evil, no matter what it was” game)… or I guess I’m being ableist by saying “half a brain” and “idiotic”. Oops, let me cancel myself.

    What I find utterly astounding is that *anyone* can get through high school these days without having to take Latin/Greek and read things like the Iliad. I think that’s part of what’s wrong with society these days – it’s not that we’re not examining the past critically enough, it’s that we’re not acknowledging our debt to the people of the past, the ancestors, and Who and what they valued. We disrespect the ancestors, we treat the world they built like shit, and then we wonder why in 2021 so few of us can respect each other. If we were more grateful to the Powers, there might be less negativity in the world. But nobody wants to hear that.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Virtue signaling is another term for conformity to be one of the “good people.” It doesn’t help anyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The influence to our very mode of life today from government, to legal system, to the arts has such a heavy influence from what came before. I can understand (even if I don’t agree with it) eliminating it as a requirement for some other disciplines, but to eliminate classics as a whole, and the foundation of it within those programs is shortsighted. You don’t remove the program, what you do is find how you can EXPAND the program.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The university system, i.e. the academic industry, was long ago corrupted into a hybrid of a loan shark office and a daycare center for the prolonged adolescence (and delayed adulthood) of the children of the pampered salary class and their aspirants.

    Should we expect anything else from a bloated, parasitic institution that panders to the lowest-common-denominator?

    We live in an age now where anyone sufficiently talented and hardworking enough can become an expert in an academic field by reading books on their own and using the many avenues the internet offers to publicize and promote new research, insights, artistic endeavors, ect….all without the middleman known as the academic industry. “Accreditation” is little more than a magic spell, which lives or dies according to mass public perception. Once a high enough degree of positive public perception of Academia Inc. melts away, then it’s game over. Meanwhile, those of us who are hip to this truth can start building our own new institutions.

    I’d say let the Woke Plague fully devour what is already rotten and unsalvagable. Academia Inc. deserves nothing less.

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