To 'decolonise' curriculum, famous English novelist Jane Austen dropped from a university

WION Web Team
London, UK Updated: Apr 06, 2022, 06:39 PM(IST)

Jane Austen Photograph:( Others )

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Jane Austen was an English novelist. She is known for her novels based on the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century 

In the United Kingdom, Stirling University has dropped famous English novelist Jane Austen from the English Literature in an attempt to "decolonise curriculum", British media outlets reported. 

As per reports, Stirling University's English Literature programme has added award-winning writer Toni Morrison in the place of Austen, who wrote popular novels like "Pride and Prejudice". 

The decision has been taken to contribute to "increased diversity" in the curriculum, in pursuit of a commitment made by the institution during the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in the summer of 2020. 

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Professor Gerry McCormac, who is the principal, had reportedly said that the university must "support an anti-racist agenda in higher education". 

British media outlets have reported that the new material in Stirling University's English Literature course will also have "racial difference and critical race theory". Topics like "gender and sexuality" are also included. 

Reports added that "trigger warnings" have also been added to students' reading lists to make them aware of "the language of colonialism". 

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"Some of the material in this module includes 'discussion of colonialism (including colonial violence towards men and women), enslavement, violence, racism, sexism and issues surrounding representation of gender, class, race and mental health," one cautionary note on one of the English modules read. 

Jane Austen was an English novelist. She is known for her novels based on the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. 

"Pride and Prejudice" is Austen's most popular novel. The Guardian called it "Britain's favourite book". 

In her writing, Austen often explores the dependence of women on marriage to have a favourable social standing and economic security — a theme often criticised in the modern era. 

"Sense and Sensibility", "Emma", "Persuasion", "Northanger Abbey", and "Lady Susan" are some other popular books by Austen. 

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