One of many casualties
According to anonymous sources, the committee in charge of next year’s Lit Hum syllabus has arrived a series of changes to the curriculum. While not final, these changes are not expected to undergo much revision.
Shakespeare’s King Lear, one of the most resilient texts in the history of Lit Hum, will be absent from next year’s syllabus. The play had been taught from 1937 until 2006 and then again from 2009 to present. It is to be replaced by the Bard’s The Tempest, which has been taught in brief bursts since 1941.
Euripides’s Medea, and The Book of Job are also set to be removed entirely. Medea has been on the syllabus since 2003 and has been taught sporadically since 1937, while Job has been taught continuously since 1990 and for most years before that. The final fatality, Goethe’s Faust, has enjoyed long stretches of obscurity on the syllabus, most recently from 2001 through 2012. It returned to the syllabus in 2013, but its journey seems once again at an end.
Readings from Cervantes’s Don Quixote and Montaigne’s Essays are to be reduced, but those—both mainstays of the syllabus—will remain on the official syllabus.
Returning to the curriculum in addition to The Tempest are Boccacio’s Decameron (last taught from 1986 through 2011) and Milton’s Paradise Lost (taught exclusively between 1937 and 1973).
All of this will come with some restructuring, as well. Genesis, in an effort to bring it closer to its proper chronological place, will be read directly after the Odyssey. Vergil’s Aeneid will also move up a bit so that it’s read in the first semester, nearer to its friend the Iliad.
Syllabus history from the Lit Hum website.