HAMILTON HALL—In a recent mass email sent straight to the Spam and Low Priority Email Digest™, Chair of Literature Humanities Joanna Stalnaker announced the latest addition to the Masterpieces of Western Literature and Philosophy syllabus. Future denizens of Columbia will cement their entry into world culture by reading “A Series of Updates on the Fall Semester.”
Featuring weighty historical figures such as President Lee Bollinger, Dean Mary Boyce, and Dean James Valentini, this work is hoped to stir the same questions as the rest of the rigorous Literature Humanities curriculum. Quoting the description of the course, Stalnaker wrote in the email: “In what ways are our authors in conversation with each other? How are these books relevant to our lives? In the end, what do we gain from them?”
An anonymous professor had the following to say about this inclusion: “I have high hopes this work will serve as a relatable introduction to mature themes, such as dramatic irony or the unreliable narrator. But honestly, I’m just looking forward to not having to guess if the person didn’t read the book at all or simply used SparkNotes.”
The decision has met with some controversy, inspiring heated debates over which “updates” should be added to the syllabus. “Like where does it end?” said Regina Brown SEAS 22’. “Is my rejected application for a leave of absence good enough to be included? What about the time when Financial Aid was blindsided by President Bollinger’s announcement and sent us all the wrong bills? I just don’t think there is a fair way to decide.”
When asked about this controversy, Stalnaker declined to comment. Bollinger did respond, but attempts to decode his advanced vocabulary into something semi-intelligible have been met with little success. Cross-examinations with the Rosetta Stone are currently underway.