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University of Pennsylvania students remove Shakespeare portrait over diversity concerns

Students at the University of Pennsylvania pulled down the English Department's portrait of William Shakespeare, replaced him with African-American author and feminist Audre Lorde, and demanded "a more inclusive mission" for the literature curriculum, the New York Post reports.

The English Department had voted to relocate and replace the Shakespeare portrait years ago to represent more diversity, but that apparently had never happened. In an email later sent to the student body, the department's head Jed Etsy vowed to form a "working group" to "declare and defend [its] departmental mission in the current political climate." Nonetheless, the portrait of Lorde will apparently remain up until further notice.

"We invite everyone to join us in the task of critical thinking about the changing nature of authorship, the history of language, and the political life of symbols," Esty wrote.