The current state of literature
March 19, 2021
In recent years, there have been many changes in Liberty’s curriculum to make it more inclusive and diverse. In both history and English classes, there’s been a shift away from white-centered narratives and towards books that contain a collection of different perspectives.
“There are four texts that were taught ten years ago–Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Flies, and The Great Gatsby–and all the others are new. Several other texts by white writers are no longer the centerpiece of our curriculum, so there’s a lot more diversity,” English teacher Henry Level said.
These four novels are part of the recently revised Core 9 books that every student will be taught throughout their years at Liberty. The other five are House on Mango Street, Persepolis, Nisei Daughter, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and then either The Astonishing Color of After or The Girl With Seven Names, depending on if it’s an honors class or not.
“For our Core 9 books there are four books by white male authors. All the others are by women of color,” Level said.
English is not the only subject where such diversification has occurred though. In the past ten years, the district’s history curriculum has also had some big changes.
“Back in 2012, all sophomores were required to take European Studies or Honors European Studies. Now, Liberty provides World Studies 1, 2, & 3 and AP World History,” history teacher Peter Kurtz said. “This change of curricula has definitely provided much more diverse instruction and literature.”