The Closing-Down of British Studies in the American Mind by Peter Sayles

“I realized that I would get my degree from this university but that my real education was in my own hands. It has been composed of both formal schooling and autodidactic reading—John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle and Benjamin Disraeli. It’s a sad comment that these works are now practically samizdat texts at universities across the country.”

Thomas Carlyle

America’s immigration-driven slide into Third World status affects all areas of life. Thus American higher education has jettisoned traditional areas of study in favor of trendy, multicultural topics. In particular, the closing-down of British Studies in History and English Departments fills a young academic like myself with woe. Within a generation, many college graduates will be largely ignorant of British civilization and its profound influence on (pre-1965) American society.

Chronicled by professional organization such as the North American Conference on British Studies, (NACBS) the decline of tenure-track positions since 1970 is staggering and frightening.[NACBS Report on the State and Future of British Studies in North America, November 18, 1999]

Currently, a hiring season will produce only a handful (5-10) tenure track jobs that hundreds of applicants will compete for. In the past two hiring seasons, Wake Forest University and Lake Forest College saw record-breaking numbers of applicants for the single positions they offered. I’m told by a contact at Princeton that last year’s hiring season produced only one tenure-track opening in Early Modern British History. Coupled with the fact that over seventy percent of faculty are now off the tenure track, a full-time assistant professorship is becoming as rare as the dodo.

Increasingly, the lottery-winning applicants who gain positions do so by professing to be comparative historians—in other words, they make themselves more attractive to hiring committees by showing they are specialists in the Empire (Africa, Asia, trendy non-white peoples).

Many state universities now only employ one or two British History specialists while boasting multiple instructors trained in the latest victim studies, (black, gay, women’s histories).

This decline over the past two generations constitutes a dramatic abandonment of traditional scholarship.


Complete text linked here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *