GRE Issue Essay 171

“Colleges and universities should offer more courses on popular music, film, advertising, and television because contemporary culture has much greater relevance for students than do arts and literature of the past.”

The young represent the present. They relate to the contemporary culture more than they do to the art and literature of the past. At the same time, it is in colleges and universities that they are given knowledge about all the aspects of art and culture. According to me, colleges and universities should not concentrate only over popular music, film, advertising and television, but must also educate students about the art, culture and literature of the past. I believe that there should be enough courses to teach the culture of the past since students would benefit from the experience.

The contemporary culture has evolved from the culture of the past. The present culture did not originate on its own but has slowly emerged out of the changes in times. Therefore, even if the popular music, film and advertising have their unique features in the present, they bears their origin in the past. It can be said that the education of art and culture will be incomplete if the colleges and universities concentrate more on the popular culture and neglect the culture of the past.

The colleges and universities have a responsibility of giving proper education to students. Giving partial education about the past and emphasizing more on the present would not be imparting complete education. It is only when the students will learn the features of the art, culture and literature of the past that they would understand its value and importance. The statement assumes that students are basically interested in popular music, films and television. However, if they were not exposed to the music, literature and culture of the past, they would never get an opportunity to explore and understand the same. It is only when they will get a taste of the culture of the past that they will begin to appreciate it. I, therefore, believe that the statement ignores the possibility of the students developing a liking for the art and literature of the past.

Further, the exceptional works of music, art, theater and films belonging to a particular time are relevant not just to that time, but to the times to come as well. If the literature in the past has been significant and noteworthy, it would have a great significance for students in the present as well. Studying this art and culture would give them great learning experience. For example, Shakespeare has contributed to the filed of English literature to the extent that his plays are enacted even today. If his works are excluded from the curriculum of the colleges, it would leave a great void in the study of literature. Moreover, this knowledge can be imparted well only in colleges and universities since a detailed study can be carried out for the same. Colleges can maintain literature, recordings, manuscripts, reports, articles and documentaries about the art and culture of the past in order to educate the students. If the colleges would not step in to offer detailed courses for the same, there would not be any other source that would help in such a comprehensive study of the past culture. On the other hand, students will have many options to study popular art, music and culture. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important for colleges and universities to concentrate on the art and culture of the past.

In the end I would like to sum up by saying that it is only in colleges and universities that we can expect a tradition of teaching and learning the art and literature of the past to be carried out. On the other hand, students can have immense opportunities to learn the contemporary music and culture. Therefore, students should not be deprived of the opportunity of studying the literature, art and music of the past by concentrating more on popular music and art and colleges should offer enough courses for the same.