A center-left Yale student lamented the “politicization” of his English class in an op-ed Sunday, highlighting how his professor asked which Shakespeare villain was most like President Donald Trump the morning after the election.
Yale senior Finnegan Schick, who published the article“On the Intrusion of National Politics in College Classrooms,” expressed frustration that despite the fact Trump has been in office for more than half a year now, his professors “show no signs of putting their political digressions on hold,” reflecting “a troubling trend: the growing partisanship of higher education.”
“The rise of Trump has accelerated the Ivory Tower’s politicization, allowing the campus Left to condemn dissenting students and faculty with new vigor,” Schick said, adding that a fall survey of over 2,000 Yale students found that 95 percent of conservative respondents felt the school doesn’t tolerate their opinions.
Schick acknowledged that he is center-left politically and voted for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but said reading shouldn’t require an “I’m With Her” sticker and a Washington Post subscription.
“Trump is a demagogue, American society is doomed, and English literature is our refuge,” is always the message from my classes, wrote Schick. He said that while lefty professors think it’s their duty to promote their vision of the political good, students are becoming afraid they will suffer academically for their views.
Universities “have become hotbeds of anti-Trump ‘resistance’,” according to Schick, and the result will be “a generation of adults whose liberal arts educations were hijacked by political debate.”
Schick wrote that “Literature is ideally a way of broadening our social imaginations,” so if we only read authors to inform modern phenomena, we might as well dismiss the literary cannon also.
He doesn’t want to take politics completely out of the classroom, but says “professors must recognize the line between timeless political insights and rank partisanship.”
The student noted that “political homogenization” of academia since the 1990s has been well documented, and referenced a recently published a book on the “dearth of conservatives” in academia by political scientists Jon Shields and Joshua Dunn.
Yale didn’t respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment in time for publication.
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