Yale ‘decolonizes’ English dept. after complaints studying white authors ‘actively harms’ students

What’s more, new requirements are in place to ensure a more “diversified” slate of courses.


Previous requirements for the major included two courses in “Major English Poets,” including Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton and Eliot, among others. But that two-course series petitioners had deemed actively harmful due to its focus on white male poets. The series is no longer a graduation requirement for Yale’s English majors.
Meanwhile, the newly developed Comparative World English course, which debuted this fall, is taught by English professor Stephanie Newell.


Her research focuses on “the public sphere in colonial West Africa and issues of gender, sexuality, and power as articulated through popular print cultures,” according to her faculty bio.


Other courses she has taught at Yale include “Contemporary African Fiction: Challenges to Realism,” “South African Writing After Apartheid,” and “Postcolonial World Literatures, 1945 to Present,” her bio states.