‘Woke nonsense’ as university calls Tennyson ‘problematic’

Tennyson’s past re-examined by the University of Lincoln – Time Life Pictures/Mansell/Getty Images

Lord Tennyson has been branded ‘problematic’ by academics who have criticized his ‘support for British imperialism’.

The Victorian Poet Laureate and author of The Charge Of The Light Brigade and The Lady of Shalott is one of Britain’s most famous literary figures.

However, his views on the British Empire have been labeled “problematic” by academics at the University of Lincoln, who say his views are “failures” to be “regretted”.

The result is a “decolonization” of the university campus aimed at “exploring the complex and problematic history of the figures to whom some of the buildings have been named”. The plaque was installed on a building named after the local writer, criticizing his life and work.

University examines ‘failures of our ancestors’

Erected in aid of ‘equality and inclusion’, the plaque informs visitors that Tennyson ‘strongly supported British imperial rule’ and that his poems ‘seem to confirm the dominant beliefs of the time – about faith, gender, identity British”.

He adds that the poet, who died in 1892, was “stubborn … in his support of British imperialism” and believed that “Africans and Asians are ‘children’ without visualization and history.”

He also says he supported a brutal governor of Jamaica and the Confederate States, because he “believed that white self-determination was more important than black freedom.”

He says figures like Tennyson “had failures” and that the university aims to “recognize and regret the failures of our ancestors.”

However, some on campus criticized the university’s attempt to “reevaluate historical narratives that may be biased”, with one anonymous staff member complaining to the Daily Mail of “woke nonsense” that would end up renaming the courses. buildings.

Actions at Lincoln follow efforts to “decolonize” or reevaluate Western canonical texts to make courses more inclusive. Mozart’s music has been labeled part of an “imperialist phenomenon” in Cambridge, while Salford University academics have said the sonnets are “products of white Western culture”.

Decolonization “isn’t about cancel culture”

A spokesman for the University of Lincoln defended the recent work, saying: “Freedom of speech and academic freedom are essential characteristics of a university. We strongly defend these values ​​at the University of Lincoln.

“Decolonizing the curriculum does not mean erasing culture. It means re-examining aspects of our history that might be inconvenient or contrary to conventional wisdom.

“This is in itself an exercise of academic freedom which reflects a desire, particularly among the younger generation, to understand the realities of Britain’s colonial legacy and the origins of racism.

“Academics and others are of course free to challenge this research. We have no intention of renaming buildings or detracting from any great achievements in our county’s proud history.”

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