A University is ‘decolonizing’ its curriculum by dropping sonnets from exams and assessments. The College Fix reports:
The University of Salford, a public university in Greater Manchester, England, removed sonnets and other “pre-established literary forms” from a creative writing course assessment…Course leaders of a creative writing module titled “Writing Poetry in the Twenty-First Century,” removed an exam section that required students to write the traditional forms, including sestinas and sonnets…
The sonnet, a poetic form that likely originated in Italy in the 13th century, has been taken up by writers such as Petrarch, Shakespeare and John Donne…“The sonnet is unique among poetic forms in Western literature in that it has retained its appeal for major poets for five centuries,” an encyclopedia stated.
A University of Salford slideshow shared with staff stated that teachers have “simplified the assessment offering choice to write thematically rather than to fit into pre-established literary forms…which tend to the products of white western culture”….The slideshow affirmed the change as an example of best practice in “decolonising the curriculum.”…Instead, the course will incorporate “inclusive criteria” that better “reflect and cater for a diverse society,” according to internal training materials….Oxford-trained historian Zareer Masani’s stated that the course overhaul was “outrageous.” “It is hugely patronising to assume non-White students would be put off by Western poetic forms,” he said. “Poetic forms vary widely across the world, but good poetry is universal.”