November 30th 2011
Re: “It’s not true!” (Nov. 24, page 7)
This letter is in response to It’s not true!, published November 23rd 2011.
I find it troublesome and disappointing for a university newspaper to use the term “conspiracy theory” in such a thought-stopping manner, particularly when used to describe a topic of scholarly significance like the authorship of the works of “Shakespeare.”
Graumann’s ignorance of the subject is obvious: the theory that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford was Shakespeare is not “from the 19th Century” as he states, but was in fact first proposed in a book published in 1920. Far from being “irrelevant,” this theory has only be strengthened and confirmed by subsequent research, and in 2001 the first PhD in Shakespeare/Oxford studies was awarded by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
To simply dismiss this scholarship as a “conspiracy theory” and say that it “doesn’t matter anyway” is contrary to the purpose of institutions of higher education and research, as well as to the spirit of free inquiry.
This letter appeared in Volume 66, Number 14 of The Uniter, published November 30th 2011.