With budget cuts, creative writing program loses faculty – The GW Hatchet
One of the most prominent was by lawyer Keane Shum, who wrote in Atlantic of his fears for Hong Kong in the face of increasing political interference from China. Others can bet against the march of democracy, but I still go with the better odds. I am a student no longer, but a dreamer, and a Hong Konger, always.
For many in my generation, the images of class boycotts, calls for face-to-face meetings with senior leaders, and the decision by students to put their bodies in the way of police lines, brought back memories of the Tiananmen demonstrations of For writers, literature is a carrier of history. In February, 1, Hong Kong academics signed a petition condemning political intervention in the academic sphere, including the blocking of appointments and growing intrusions into freedom of expression and publication.
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That same month, The Lowy Institute for International Policy , an independent thinktank based in Sydney, named education as the next Hong Kong battleground. At our own City University, the chairman of the council, the highest governing body, is Herman Hu Shao-ming, a businessman and mainland adviser widely considered a political appointee.
When the MFA programme at City University invited me, in , to be part of the founding faculty, I accepted for a very specific reason: I wished to learn what a multilingual, multi-canonical literary workshop might look like. Our students, who write in English, come from 20 different countries and multiple languages. They include mainland Chinese who are looking for another way to express themselves; Americans from small towns who have built new lives in Seoul or Suzhou; lawyers, teachers, parents and journalists living and working in Asia.
Fifty-two per cent are resident in Hong Kong itself. The literature we value arrives not only from writers renowned in New York and London, but from a spectrum of classical and avant-garde literature being written in, among other places, China, India, Nigeria, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Hong Kong is not New York; powerful agents and editors do not visit us. To be frank, they do not know that we exist. Writing in English in Asia — a fraught choice as well as a liberating one — means these writers are inevitably working from the periphery. How can it evaluate its success?
The students know that literature from America and England — countries they may never have the chance to visit — has transformed them, and they also know that this world literature includes them. In what other MFA programme is this a founding principle? There are many more stories and ways of telling, if only we have the ears to hear them. Page said the cuts could pose future problems for the program because a large number of students enroll in the introductory course to fulfill a G-PAC art requirement. Thirty-two courses offered this semester can fulfill this requirement.
She said she learned about the cutback without warning and administrators did not work with her to find an alternative solution.watch
Other programs in the Columbian College have suffered as officials have tightened budgets across the University. Last semester, the chair of the math department said faculty numbers were being cut as adjunct faculty were replacing full-time faculty. He said there are other areas officials should trim costs first, and use cutting jobs as a last resort. University President Steven Knapp has said in the past that he has prioritized arts education and opportunities, a claim some faculty have questioned after cuts to arts departments.
Spotlight on the NYU Creative Writing Program
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