British university slaps warnings on "Peter Pan" and "Alice in Wonderland" books for "colonialist narratives which center white supremacy"
ยท Mar 29, 2024 ยท

The woke mob is going through a long list of classics and finding problematic themes that aren't really there.

This time, the classics Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan are on the chopping block. York St. John University is warning students that those stories may contain "colonialist narratives" and "racist" vocabulary and illustrations.

If these kids' books are being censored, no one/nothing is safe from this woke-ery. ๐Ÿ™„

Trigger warnings were added to the Rees-Williams Collection of Children's Literature website, which includes over 3,000 historical volumes. Most of them date from the late 18th to the early 20th Century, and some even go back to 1780.

The collection features various stories, including fables, fairy tales, adventures, religious texts, annuals, and historical literature.

The "content warning and position statement" lists several things readers should watch out for. It tells folks (who need to book appointments) to be ready for possible upset and offense when checking out the collection.

The rather lengthy trigger warning states:

Documents in special collections have contextual history and, as a whole, can inform our understanding of the contexts in which they came to exist.

Within the 150 years of children's writing which is represented in the collection, there is a widespread occurrence of colonialist narratives which centre white supremacy, and racist and orientalist methods of both fictional and historical storytelling.

As such, it is possible, if not likely, that items consulted from the collection will include language and visual imagery which is racist, and many people may find their contents upsetting and offensive.

As custodians of historical documents, it is our duty to recognise their historic and current power in the marginalisation of the peoples who are subjects within them, and examine why we continue to preserve and house such items when their ability to cause damage endures.

Here at York St John University, we unequivocally reject the stereotypes and offensive narratives which are contained within these documents.

We are also committed to preserving and providing access to the evidence of the racist marginalisation and stereotyping of peoples through children's literature during this time period.

To do so requires continuous learning, reflection and consultation on how such a collection should be managed, and as such we welcome conversation about and research into the collection.

Those "stereotypes and offensive narratives" found in the Peter Pan stories include the reference to "savages" in Neverland. Additionally, some academics say the caterpillar in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, who smokes hookah, is a portrayal influenced by Orientalism, which is a stereotype of the exotic East.

James Rees-Williams put together the collection in the 1970s when he was a librarian at York St John University.

A spokesperson for the university told the Daily Telegraph that as a "Race Equality Charter Bronze award holder," the university has a duty and commitment to challenge racism (even in children's books, where it doesn't exist! ๐Ÿคก)

As custodians of the Rees-Williams Collection, we have a responsibility to both provide access to historic books, and to inform our students and other users about content in our institutional archives and special collections which many would find offensive and outdated.

Just imagine these poor little university students picking up a children's book and possibly being offended!

Oh, how will they ever survive?!?

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