- Lionel Shriver, an American writer, stirred up controversy when she wore a sombrero at a literary festival in Australia
- Jay Parini: Cultural appropriation requires a fine balance between regard for those marginalized and the traditions of free speech
Jay Parini, a poet and novelist, teaches at Middlebury College. He recently published "New and Collected Poems, 1975-2015." The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
(CNN)Anyone familiar with the academic world has heard about the dangers of "cultural appropriation." It's a phrase used to denounce people who "steal" things from other cultures, sometimes with the aim to poke fun at that culture or -- worse -- belittle it. The debate on appropriation is one of the main fronts in the current culture war on campuses, and it's provoking heated, or overheated, conversations around the US and abroad.