Phi Beta Cons

Rigorous Multicultural Courses Promised at Columbia

In the wake of a student hunger strike to protest the weakness of multicultural offerings in the campus’s core curriculum, the university is dedicating $50 million to the creation of major culture classes that can count toward core credit.
Its new director, a professor of Western civilization, Roosevelt Montas, says he “embodies diversity.” Auspiciously, he is also portrayed as one of the Core’s most fervent defenders.
“I don’t represent the tradition of dead white males that the Core is associated with,” Montas states. “I think it helps to undo or challenge the idea that this is a white curriculum.”
This is reassuring, as long as students are in fact steeped in the Western canon. Even greatly improved courses on non-Western cultures cannot make up for such a grounding.


The Latest