To be or not to be? At U.S. colleges, it's increasingly 'not' : "The world loves Shakespeare. But American universities don't.
That is the conclusion of a new study released by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. The report, 'The Vanishing Shakespeare,' surveyed English curricula at 70 major American colleges and universities. Only 15 require their English majors to take a course on Shakespeare. The rest allow the English teachers of tomorrow to graduate without studying the language's greatest writer in depth.
Only one institution requires Shakespeare in the Ivy League -- Harvard. And a mere three others of U.S. News' top 25 liberal arts colleges -- Middlebury, Smith and Wellesley -- require the study of the Bard.
At most of America's top colleges, Shakespeare is simply an elective -- one among many. That puts him on a par with literature courses on 'Nags, Bitches and Shrews' at Dartmouth; Los Angeles, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Baywatch at Northwestern; baseball at Emory, and 'Cool Theory,' at Duke, where students devote themselves to the study of a single word of American slang."