The cost of attending the University of Pennsylvania this year is $69,340. Bear that in mind as you savor the latest news from the university’s English Department. Students, upset that a portrait of a dead white guy named William Shakespeare was taking up valuable wall space in the department’s hallways, removed the picture and replaced it with a photograph of Audre Lourde, a black feminist writer. “Students removed the Shakespeare portrait and delivered it to my office as a way of affirming their commitment to a more inclusive mission for the English department,” said Jed Esty, chair of the department. He seemed quite taken with the gesture. “We invite everyone to join us in the task of critical thinking about the changing nature of authorship, the history of language, and the political life of symbols,” he said in an email. Right. As we mentioned, sixty-nine thousand three hundred and forty dollars. Save your money.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 35 Number 5, on page 2
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