New Round Of Schools Ditching Shakespeare For Promoting ‘Misogyny, Racism,’ And More
The twelfth Antiques Dealers' Fair and Exhibition is to be opened tomorrow in the Great Hall at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London, W., by Mrs Winston Churchill, wife of the Prime Minister.
© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

More schools are announcing they will no longer teach the works of William Shakespeare, claiming his writings promote “misogyny, racism, homophobia, classism, anti-Semitism, and misogynoir.”

The New York Post reported that a number of English literature teachers told the School Library Journal that they would no longer be teaching plays such as “Hamlet,” “Macbeth,” or “Romeo and Juliet.” The teachers added they would instead “make room for modern, diverse, and inclusive voices.”

Ayanna Thompson, an English professor at Arizona State University, told SLJ that “Shakespeare was a tool used to ‘civilize’ Black and brown people in England’s empire.” Jeffrey Austin, who leads the English literature department at a Michigan high school, told the outlet that teachers needed to “challenge the whiteness” that leads to claims that Shakespeare’s works are “universal.”

One former teacher from Washington state, Claire Bruncke, told the outlet that she stopped teaching Shakespeare to “stray from centering the narrative of white, cisgender, heterosexual men.”

“Eliminating Shakespeare was a step I could easily take to work toward that. And it proved worthwhile for my students,” Bruncke added.

While some teachers said they would stop teaching the bard outright, others said they would continue to include his works in their lesson plans but reframe them through modern “woke” sensibilities. Sarah Mulhern Gross, for example, is an English teacher at New Jersey’s High Technology High School and said she would include “a side of toxic masculinity analysis” when discussing “Romeo and Juliet.”

The author of the SLJ article, librarian Amanda MacGregor, praised Shakespeare’s “masterful wordplay, creative use of language, biting wit, puns, and innovative characters,” yet insisted his works were “full of problematic, outdated ideas, with plenty of misogyny, racism, homophobia, classism, anti-Semitism, and misogynoir.”

This is just the latest attempts by teachers to stop teaching Shakespeare. Years ago, Yale worked to “decolonize” its English department, in part by removing the works of Shakespeare from several of its undergraduate classes, The Daily Wire previously reported. Just prior to that, Cambridge University in England decided to start adding “trigger warnings” to plays written by Shakespeare. As The College Fix reported in 2016, the University of Pennsylvania removed a portrait of Shakespeare from a building on campus and replaced it “with a picture of black, feminist, lesbian poet Audre Lorde.” Lorde was subsequently replaced by “a collage of 88 different writers and filmmakers.”

In July 2017, journalist Toni Airaksinen reported that California State University-East Bay was looking to hire an assistant professor of English who would teach Shakespeare “through the lenses of social justice and identity politics.”

“Candidates must demonstrate awareness of innovative pedagogy and issues of diversity and social justice, as well as evidence of teaching effectiveness,” the school wrote in its hiring post. “Candidates who bring global approaches to their teaching and scholarship are preferred. Candidates who engage with issues of race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality in their teaching and scholarship are preferred.”

The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  New Round Of Schools Ditching Shakespeare For Promoting ‘Misogyny, Racism,’ And More