Do Gen Zers know who Moses is?

Apparently not, according to Camille Paglia, a feminist professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

In an interview,

She recalls a “horrifying” example from her classroom a few years ago. She was teaching “Go Down, Moses, ” the famous Negro spiritual. “The whole thing is about antiquity,” she says, “but obviously it has contemporary political references.” She passed out the lyrics and played the music, “and it suddenly hit me with horror—none of them recognized the name ‘Moses.’ And I thought: Oh my God, when Moses is erased from the West, what is left of Western civilization?”

Not much.

Read more of the interview,A Feminist Capitalist Professor Under Fire: The

Who?

Who?

students who demand her firing, Camille Paglia argues, take prosperity for granted, are socially undeveloped, and know little about Western history. Who’s Moses?” and you’ll see that Paglia is no right-winger from whom you would expect this critique.

By the way, Paglia, 72, describes a childhood experience when she asked a nun, “If God is infinitely forgiving, I asked the nun, is it possible that at some point in the future he’ll forgive Satan?” A great question (I had never thought of it), but from the nun came condemnations for even asking the question.

dennis@dennisbyrne.net

www.dennisbyrne.net 

My historical novel: Madness: The War of 1812

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  • This is stunning, Dennis. Thank you. We need to learn and remember better at home as well as in the schools, and not rely on Google to solve it all. These uneducated people may get some sort of job at Google someday.

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    This is stunning, but it is false. Paglia admitted to me at AcademeBlog that this story is "categorically not true"--her story happened 15-20 years ago, and some students did know who Moses is. Gen Z is not guilty.
    https://academeblog.org/2019/09/04/how-camille-paglias-story-of-moses-went-down/

  • In reply to johnwilson:

    Oops!

  • Paglia's statement in the above link:

    "The Moses incident in my class occurred at least 15 years ago, not recently. It might even have been in the late 1990s. As I have repeatedly said, it was the first sign I saw of the collapse of general cultural learning among American students. It is categorically not true that “no one” in the class recognized the name Moses. Of perhaps 25 students in the class, there were a few who did–several African-American students and a couple of others who clearly had a religious background.

    "Any public figure who is frequently interviewed is quite used to inaccuracies in transcription–especially a fast Joan Rivers talker like myself. I am not responsible for how my statements are reported in the media."

    Yet: "only a few knew" Still stunning.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    You didn't read the rest of the Academe Blog. "It’s a great story, where we get to laugh at the stupidity of students who don’t know who Moses is. But is it true? No, of course it’s not true. Every professor has encountered a class where few (or no) students are willing to volunteer that they know some important and basic ".

  • I have repeatedly said, it was the first sign I saw of the collapse of general cultural learning among American students. It is categorically not true that “no one” in the class recognized the name Moses. Of perhaps 25 students in the class, there were a few who did–several African-American students and a couple of others who clearly had a religious background. www.mycfavisit.com

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