#PCSubtitle: The End

National Association of Scholars

Our #PCSubtitle contest has come to a close. For the last six weeks, you’ve kept our inbox and Twitter feed hopping with politically correct reinterpretations of classic books. See the winners of last week’s contest on Edgar Allan Poe, or peruse the complete list of winners and runners-up below.

Our silly satirical contest does have a serious point: that good books endure, even when, in a temporary fit of up-to-date-ism, colleges cast them aside. We can look past the artificial cultural and chronological differences that separate us from the characters we read about, and discern in them a common humanity. We can spy old prejudices, biases, blind spots, and straight-out lies, and see through them—and they may warn us to beware our own generation’s hubris and partiality.

In the past you’ve helped us assemble lists of great books to read, and NAS has its own list of better beach books we wish colleges would assign as common reading. But sometimes gentle humor can make the point too. You helped us poke at the idea that old classics are out of touch with modern life.

Some of your politically correct subtitle submissions took aim at the substance of a classic book, finding—in jest—the early kernel of some later progressive mantra. Some took the liberty to reword the title itself. Others added humorous PC messages that cast a new light on the title itself. All gently pushed back on the idea that old books are past their prime.

See each of the #PCSubtitles winners below.

Jane Austen

First place:

Sense and Sensitivity Training, submitted by Darel Veal


(Wo)Mansfield Park, submitted by Jordan Hill

Censor Sensibility, submitted by Jordan Hill

Personsfield Park: Local Theater as an Act of Subversion, submitted by Will Begley

Northanger Abbey: Anger is our True North, submitted by David Randall

Manspread Park: Combating Patriarchal Postures across England's Quaint Garden Benches, submitted by Michael Brooks

Charles Dickens

First place:

Grade Expectations: Everyone Gets an A! submitted by Luigi Bradizza


A Tale of Two Sanctuary Cities, submitted by T.L. Thomas

A Holiday Carol: White, Cisgender Male Learns to Check His Privilege, submitted by Michael Brooks

Limited Expectations: Pip Applies for a Post in the Humanities, submitted by Steve Hutchens

Hate Expectations: A Speech Code to Promote Inclusivity and Protect Students from Potentially Harmful Words and Microaggressions, submitted by Jordan Hill

Beatrix Potter

First place:

The Sly Old Cat: Success in University Administration, submitted by Steve Hutchens


The Tale of Peter Rabbit: Millennial Activism Against Capitalistic Land Ownership, submitted by Stephen Wade

The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit: Frantz Fanon and the Earth First! Revolution, submitted by David Randall

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

First place:

The Grand Inquisitor:  Tales of a Title IX Administrator, submitted by Michael Cook


The Brothers Karamazov: How Withholding Free College Tuition Leads to Patricide, submitted by Jonathan Toronto

Chime-In Punishment: Holding Students Accountable For Harmful Microaggressions and Whitemansplaining in Classroom Discussions, submitted by Jordan Hill

Ernest Hemingway

First place:

A Farewell to Arms: Let's Get Some Muscle Over Here! submitted by Steven Hutchens


The Sun Also Rises: Climate Change and You, submitted by Christopher C. Hull

The Old Man and the C-Section: Exploding Gender and Parenting Stereotypes, submitted by Michael R. Cook

A Farewell to Arms: Nothing is Worth Dying For, submitted by Geraldine Hawkins

Death in the Afternoon: Animals Were Harmed in the Making of this Book, submitted by Geraldine Hawkins

Edgar Allan Poe

First place:

The Black Cat: A Framework for Evaluating the Intersectionality of Racism and Speciesism, submitted by Stephanie Keaveney


The Imp of the Perverse: How I Loaded Up on Government Loans to Finance my Education, submitted by Michael R. Cook

The Pit and the Pendulum: Proposed Punishments for Free Speech Advocates, submitted by Stephen Wade


Image: open book by Sarah Browning // CC BY-NC 2.0

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