Who Killed the Liberal Arts?

Prager University continues to do great work — the attached video is an example of that work — and here is the opening of the transcript of the video:

To get a bachelor’s degree in English literature at the University of California at Los Angeles, one of the most prestigious colleges in America, you must take courses in Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability or Sexuality Studies; in Imperial Transnational or Post-Colonial Studies; and in Critical Theory. But you are not required to take a single course in Shakespeare.

In other words, the UCLA English faculty is now officially indifferent as to whether an English major has ever read a word of the greatest writer of the English language, but is determined to expose students, according to the course catalogue, to “alternative rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class.” Sadly, UCLA is not leading a movement; it is following one.

That movement seeks to infuse the humanities curriculum with the characteristic academic traits of our time: narcissism, an obsession with victimhood, and a relentless determination to reduce the stunning complexity of the past to identity and class politics.

In so doing, the modern professoriate has repudiated the great humanist tradition on which much of Western Civilization — and the Western university — has been built. That tradition was founded on an all-consuming desire to engage with the genius of the past.

You can read the entire transcript by clicking on “view transcript” here.