By: V4 Agency
Some teachers have branded Shakespeare’s works racist, proposing to have them removed from the curriculum. They have launched a petition and listed some books they believe are suitable to replace the great playwright’s works. The list contains quite a few surprises.
Under the banner of the crowdsourced Disrupt Texts effort, a growing number of teachers are calling for Shakespeare to be removed from schools.
“This is about White supremacy and colonization”, Disrupt Texts founder Lorena German said. “We cannot teach Shakespeare responsibly and not disrupt the ways people are characterised and developed.”
Disrupt Text has also compiled a list of books which they find more suitable for students. Classics are left out altogether, while other works, such as the Anti-racist Baby, have been included.
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According to the initiative’s website, they do not believe in censorship and have never supported the banning of books.
Another teacher says Shakespeare’s works are full of problematic, outdated principles. Amanda McGregor argues that these classics promote misogyny, racism, homophobia, class discrimination, anti-Semitism.
“There is nothing to be gained from Shakespeare that couldn’t be gotten from exploring the works of other authors,” Jeffrey Austin, head of Writing Center, Michigan, said. ‘It’s worth pushing back against the idea that somehow Shakespeare stands alone as a solitary genius when every culture has transcendent writers that don’t get included in our curriculum or classroom libraries,’ he added.
Yet another teacher came up with the idea that Shakespeare should be replaced with authors who wrote about people like her black or Hispanic students. Liz Matthews stressed that her students “can make realistic connections” when they read contemporary authors. ‘Representation matters,’ she added.