- Oct 2017
each of these was unexceptionable as to healthiness & fertility.
The focus on healthiness and fertility reminds me sickeningly of the treatment of slaves and of women throughout history, as land, a place for a school to be built, was regarded in the same way that human beings were -- property; only worthy of life if they met specific criteria. A slave was only useful if it was healthy enough to perform the work necessary of its existence (as the slave owners thought). If a slave could not work in a field or in the home, they were a useless slave and often times killed for their inability to perform. The fertility of a slave and it's ability to reproduce was profitable as slave owners were able to buy a slave (if they raped their females) or two (male and female), and have their slave continue to produce more slaves and therefore more bodies able to do the slaveowner's biding. Such is similar to the view of women, as health and fertility were the most important aspects of a woman to society, besides obedience. Women's fertility could be manipulated and used for gain of both men and society. In some instances, women were only considered worthy of life if they produced male offspring. Such is seen in royalty, as King Henry vehemently believed that Catherine "was condemned by God not to have a boy and that Anne would provide him with one". This belief that the only worth of a woman is their ability to produce male heirs was carried into society for a long time after the Tudor times. And although the thoughts towards women are not as strict in modern society, the stigma towards women unable to have children or who do not want children has continued into modern society.
“the branches of learning,
I find this phrase "branches of learning" interesting, as it implies that learning stems from a singular object, which in essence is a university. It is a very remarkable way to think of learning, as the university is the foundation for learning, but the different branches (topics) stem from not only what is taught officially at the university in classrooms, but also from the experiences that occur here and people that call this place home. I know that this statement did not mean what I think it means now back when it was written, but I still find it a beautiful way to talk about learning. The metaphor of a tree implies that roots in the university - the land it was built on, the people who built it, the people who used to live on this land - can affect the university and the way students learn from it and on it. Such is so applicable to today as we are attempting to embrace the rotten roots of our dear university, attempting to learn from the injustisces against humanity that occurred on and before our university.