University of Salford cancels SONNETS from writing course because they are ‘products of white Western culture’ amid push to ‘decolonise the curriculum’

  • University of Salford chiefs sideline sonnets from their creative writing course
  • Second-year students will no longer have to write sonnets for their assessment 
  • Historian Dr Zareer Masani called the change ‘patronising’ and ‘outrageous’ 

University chiefs have sidelined sonnets from a creative writing course over concerns they are ‘products of white Western culture’.

The poetic form, notably used by Shakespeare, has fallen foul of efforts to ‘decolonise the curriculum’ at the University of Salford.

Following a drive to make the course more diverse, second-year students at the university will no longer have to write sonnets for their assessment. 

The poetic form, notably used by Shakespeare, has fallen foul of efforts to ‘decolonise the curriculum’ at the University of Salford

Historian Dr Zareer Masani called the change ‘patronising’ and ‘outrageous’, telling The Sunday Telegraph: ‘It is content, not form, that counts.’

Dr Scott Thurston, leader of the creative writing course at Salford, said students would still be required to undertake exercises in composing sonnets.

Acclaimed examples include Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias, which includes the line: ‘Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’


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