Cambridge University’s English Literature professors will be forced to replace white authors with black writers, under new proposals put forward by academic staff following student demands to “decolonise” the curriculum.
For the first time, lecturers and tutors will have to “ensure the presence” of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) writers on their course, under plans discussed by the English Faculty’s Teaching Forum.
The move follows an open letter, penned by Lola Olufemi, Cambridge University Student Union’s women’s officer and signed by over 100 students, titled “Decolonising the English Faculty”.Lola Olufemi: the student behind the campaign to 'decolonise' Cambridge
Lola Olufemi Credit: ATRI BANERJEE
The female student behind the campaign to “decolonise” the Cambridge University’s English degree has previously said that white people who go on holidays Africa are “inherently selfish”.
Lola Olufemi, the women’s officer of Cambridge University Student Union, wrote the open letter which prompted the English Faculty’s discussion about the curriculum at their recent Teaching Forum meeting.
The English graduate, who grew up in north London, has claimed that students who go on gap year programmes that involve doing aid work in Africa are guilty of “fetishising” the African culture.
Earlier this year, Murray Edwards College became the first of Cambridge’s all-women colleges to allow students who “identify” as a woman to apply.
At the university’s other women-only colleges, Newnham and Lucy Cavendish, any application must be recognised under the Gender Recognition Act, but their policies are understood to be under review.