“Hey hey, ho ho, Western culture’s got to go”
That’s a chant from the 1980s. Student protests on California campuses (at Stanford, most famously) brought national attention to the problems of Euro-centric bias in the literary canon, precipitating radical shifts in curriculum design. I’ve been thinking about the historical significance of that moment for a number of reasons. There have various cultural, political and economic shifts since the 1980s, and yet some challenges remain similar to the ones those Stanford students faced.
Here I muse – and invite your thoughts — on cross-cultural shifts, historical shifts, and challenges of canon-formation as the sites of canon-struggles migrate beyond the literary arenas of the 1980s protests.