Academic freedom in action: Ignoring the women at the U of T

David Gilmour, novelist and former broadcaster, and currently teacher at the University of Toronto:

I teach modern short fiction to third and first-year students. So I teach mostly Russian and American authors. Not much on the Canadian front. But I can only teach stuff I love. I can’t teach stuff that I don’t, and I haven’t encountered any Canadian writers yet that I love enough to teach.I’m not interested in teaching books by women. Virginia Woolf is the only writer that interests me as a woman writer, so I do teach one of her short stories. But once again, when I was given this job I said I would only teach the people that I truly, truly love. Unfortunately, none of those happen to be Chinese, or women. Except for Virginia Woolf. And when I tried to teach Virginia Woolf, she’s too sophisticated, even for a third-year class. Usually at the beginning of the semester a hand shoots up and someone asks why there aren’t any women writers in the course. I say I don’t love women writers enough to teach them, if you want women writers go down the hall. What I teach is guys. Serious heterosexual guys. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chekhov, Tolstoy. Real guy-guys. Henry Miller. Philip Roth.

via David Gilmour on Building Strong Stomachs | Hazlitt | Random House of Canada.


UPDATE: Is David Gilmour a sexist? David Gilmour says, of course not.

UPPERDATE: Lest you believe Gilmour was taken out of context or misquoted, the transcript has been published.

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