Author: Mark Bauerlein

Mark Bauerlein is a professor of English at Emory.

When 29 Courses on Black Writing Isn’t Enough at Williams

The readers, writers, and editors of Minding the Campus have it all wrong. If they were to hear the words “Williams College English Department,” a vision of politically correct, exquisitely liberal professors would instantly spring to mind. If they went to the department web site, to be sure, they could find support for their judgment, […]

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The Slow and Tortuous Death of the GRE

Science magazine recently studied eight science disciplines at 50 select universities, tabulating the ones that include Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) as an application requirement. In 2018, 44 percent of molecular biology programs had stopped asking for GRE scores, and the study predicted the rate would pass 50 percent in the following year’s applications. In the fields […]

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the poison of identity politics

Columbia Adds Multiculturalism to Core Curriculum

Columbia University has decided to add a contemporary multicultural component to its famed core curriculum, Insidehighered.com reported. You knew it was coming. The Western Civilization orientation in general education coursework has been utterly routed for a long time now. The few remaining cases, such as Columbia’s, won’t endure because the academic left won’t let them. […]

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How Conservatives Can Win Without Whining

The progressivist insistence on feeling safe and included, along with accompanying acts of censorship and personnel complaint, has proven so successful in recent years that one can hardly blame conservative students for joining in. But they should hold back. When conservatives proclaim that they are offended and unsafe, though they may win a quick victory […]

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Diversicrats Are All That’s Left on Campus

At this point in time, the word diversity is spoken with such pedestrian calm that people forget that it used to have an edgy import.  Not that many years ago, “diversity” meant the introduction of women and minorities into academic jobs and the academic curriculum—as it does now. But back then, that introduction was cast […]

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A Confusing Racial Decision for Harvard

Harvard’s decision last month to rescind admission to Kyle Kashuv because of nasty racial tweets he sent three years ago is a curiously unprincipled action. Kashuv is obviously contrite. He shows all the indications of a reformed sinner eager to undergo Harvard’s diversity training. One would think that an institution so solemnly dedicated to social […]

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Diversity’s Worst Failure–the Faculty

For the diversity engineers in higher education, life keeps yielding disappointments. A new study shows once again how far colleges and universities lag relative to their vocal pledges of equity and inclusion. The study draws on Federal data to determine how well those institutions have improved the demographic make-up of the faculty—improvement defined by the […]

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Goodbye Humanities—Hating White Males Is Not a Curriculum

As the humanities continue their steady slide toward the margins of the campus, the faculty still can’t look in the mirror and face the sources of the problem. Last month in the Chronicle of Higher Education, four assistant professors of English responded to a previous essay about the state of the field and unintentionally revealed […]

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The Birth of a Nation

Last month, Chapman University’s film school removed from the walls posters that students and many professors deemed offensive. They were original posters promoting Birth of a Nation, D. W. Griffith’s sweeping silent classic set during the Civil War and after. The film was fabulously successful in its day, and historians regard it as a breakthrough […]

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More Diversity, Lower Standards

The English departments of Cornell and Harvard have dropped the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) requirement for graduate applicants—a noteworthy move that amounts to a setback for the quality of education and a win for diversity and lower standards. Insidehighered.com reports the Cornell development and includes a link to a candid statement from the English department […]

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How Diversity Hijacked History 101 and All the Humanities

It is getting awfully hard to be a humanities professor. Or rather, it’s getting hard to be a humanities professor and still maintain the heady confidence in the fields that the faculty had 20 years ago. The daily grind of teaching, research, and service haven’t much changed, especially for tenured professors who aren’t touched by […]

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After the protests at the University of Missouri, enrollment dropped by 13 percent.

How to Stop the Censoring Mobs on Campus

Stanley Kurtz has laid out an interesting proposal for stopping once and for all the shutdowns and hecklers and mobs that have increasingly plagued higher education in recent years. It’s called the Intellectual Diversity Act, and it has a simple provision. The law, as passed by state legislatures, will direct public colleges and universities to […]

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The Cult of Diversity Shows Its True Face

Last year, a former student of mine won a job interview at the satellite campus of a state university system. One of the first questions she had to answer was this: “Tell us how you will contribute to diversity on our campus.” My ex-student was Shiite, female, heterosexual, and 50 years old. As far as she […]

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Heather Mac Donald: In the Crosshairs of a Progressive Campaign

Heather Mac Donald’s book The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture, was published more than four months ago, but I just checked Amazon, and it still stands impressively among all book sales at #798. It ranks #1 in two sub-categories of education. She appeared on Tucker Carlson’s […]

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Bow Down to Diversity or Risk Your Academic Career

When jobs are scarce, and when you’ve spent your 20s living spartanly, reading books, books, books, writing a dissertation, and you’re sick of being a nobody whose only recognition comes from students in your freshman comp course who thank you for spending time correcting their grammar and punctuation, you’ll say anything the people who control […]

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Trouble With the Academic Star System

It remains to be seen how the Avital Ronell affair will play out. The letter presented in her defense and signed by well-known theorists and many lesser figures has evoked more scorn than sympathy, and it may signify a generational turn in literary studies. There is one element of the whole thing, however, that seems beyond […]

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Studying English Takes a Back Seat to Identity Politics

Two-thirds (66.3%) of English departments responding to a survey indicated that the number of undergraduates majoring in English is either lower or sharply lower. Only 8.7% reported an increase in the number of majors; none reported a sharp increase. That’s the abysmal finding of a survey of English departments issued last month by the Association […]

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After the protests at the University of Missouri, enrollment dropped by 13 percent.

The Coming Implosion After Diversity’s Victory

Conservatives, libertarians, traditionalists, and classical liberals need to get clear on something: the ideological contests are fading. What Irving Kristol famously said in his 2001 Bradley Lecture, “We in America fought a culture war, and we [conservatives] lost,” applies well to higher education. Conservatives fought wars over multiculturalism, Western Civilization, affirmative action, the Academic Bill […]

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Diversity Policies Are Corrupting the Sciences

Anyone who believes that the hard sciences could never capitulate to identity politics in the way the humanities and softer sciences have should not read Heather MacDonald’s report just posted at City Journal. It’s too infuriating, and the impacts could be devastating. MacDonald surveys the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and accrediting organizations […]

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paperwork-research-overload

Publish and Perish: The Zero Sum Game of Literary Research

Several years ago, I did a study on the costs and impact of literary research. The point was to show how much research was published and how often it was consulted. The answer to the first part was this: piles and piles of it, fully 70,000 items of scholarship each year in all the fields […]

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The Overthrow of the Great Books

Many years ago, in the late ‘90s, three professors and I met with the undergraduate dean at Emory University to discuss a Great Books proposal. Steven Kautz, a political scientist, led the effort, and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Harvey Klehr, and I backed him up. The idea was to build a Great Books track within the undergraduate […]

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Achilles and the Wyf of Bath Compete in Oklahoma

Mark Bauerlein, an English professor at Emory University, writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the course W.H. Auden launched at the University of Michigan in 1941. It’s 6,000 pages of the most powerful literature in the canon: The Divine Comedy in full, four works of Shakespeare, Pascal’s Pensées, Horace’s odes, Volpone, Racine, Kierkegaard’s […]

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How ‘White’ Western History Has Become an SNL Skit on Campus

In National Review this week, George Weigel writes a pointed commentary on another example of humanities professors undermining their own field. It’s a curious phenomenon, but one you often see. A scholar-teacher steps forward to condemn or distort the materials of his own field, or to rebuke past and present practitioners of it, not realizing […]

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How Identity Politics Boosts College Conservatives

One might call it an occupational hazard. A teacher hears someone say something critical about students in general and has an immediate response: “Not MY students.” It shows a particular form of identification. The teacher assumes the role of defender of the youths as if being their teacher entails being their advocate. It’s also a […]

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The Decline of the Humanities and Who’s to Blame

This year is the 30th Anniversary of the publication of Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind. That book made Bloom and anyone who liked it unambiguous enemies of the humanities. Bill Bennett, Dinesh D’Souza, Lynn Cheney, the founders of the National Association of Scholars and the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, Roger […]

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History: A Troubled Field Likely to Get Worse

Here’s a sign of the times: the head of the American Historical Association says departments should integrate communication, collaboration, and three other “basic skills” into their programs. In other words. Jobs in history are dwindling, so graduate students in the field had better prepare some backup plans. I heard the same thing in literary studies […]

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615_Graduate_Graduation_College_Reuters

Fewer Humanities Courses, More Ph.D.’s

A new report says that humanities departments in the United States produced 5,891 doctorates in 2015, the largest since the numbers were first tracked in 1987. Meanwhile, the chief market for those grad school grads, a tenure-track position at a decent school, has steadily contracted. Things just keep getting worse. The Humanities Indicators press release notes […]

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When Reasonable Objections to Diversity Are Viewed as Bias

A movement to crush dissent is under way and a good deal of it involves discussion and objections to diversity being declared illegitimate. Political and economic leaders and organizations speak about offense and intolerance taking place inside and outside their walls, but when we hear the actual content of those crimes, they appear far less than […]

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Child and Robot - D. Vignesh

Are Teachers the Last Defense Against Artificial Intelligence?

On July 15/16, the Wall Street Journal had an ominous story on the advancing influence of a few technology companies on every aspect of our lives. The main focus fell on the extraordinary growth of Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft, a colossal quintet that makes the old days of the Robber Barons look minor […]

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Liberal Talking Heads Turn Against the West

The liberal reaction to Donald Trump’s speech on Western civilization goes to show how much liberals played the fool way back in the 1980s. That’s when the debate over Western Civilization boiled over and traditionalists and multiculturalists vied for control of the humanities curriculum. Liberals didn’t fit easily in either camp. Most of them in the […]

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