Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

English Department's DEI Committee

The English Department's DEI Committee believes it important to reaffirm to our students and community the department's dedication to the following principles:

  • We commit ourselves to the principles of anti-racism: to actively disavow and condemn discriminatory language, actions, and images that create unequal learning opportunities.
  • We work to foreground specific historical, social, and cultural contexts for the texts we teach and write, emphasizing that art and thought do not exist in isolation from the structural inequalities and systemic inequities of our history and politics.
  • We view the classroom as a unique space where we can walk in with one idea and come out with quite another, where our ideas and values are tested for validity in discussion with peers, where we work each day to build the common ground on which our university and our country must rest.
  • We will continue to highlight the diversity of issues, authors, and texts represented at all levels of our curriculum with regard to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and ability.
  • And finally, we affirm our solidarity with all members of our academic community harmed by racist behaviors and discourse.

DEI committee charge: Advises and consults with the department chair on matters concerning diversity, equity, and inclusion in the department and in the campus community; assists in developing and supporting classes and programming in this area, as well as facilitating research, teaching, and service. In addition to English Department faculty members, this committee will include one undergraduate and one graduate student appointed by the Chair of the Committee in consultation with the Departmental Chair.

Onging DEI Initiatives

  • Applying for an NEH 2023-2024 Spotlight on Humanities in Higher Education exploratory grant to develop a bridge program with local high schools.
  • Gathering anonymous feedback from students in our courses about how our instructors are handling matters related to DEI, to encourage and implement potential changes.
  • Co-sponsoring department events such as V. Jo Hsu’s March talk on trans, racial, and disability justice.
  • Developing regular materials to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, AAPI Heritage Month, and Pride Month with literature-related reading recommendations.
  • Working with organizations across campus on larger university-wide initiatives, like this year’s Common Read, Barracoon.

On-Campus Organizations & Resources

For up-to-date information about relevant events, follow the USA English Department and the Stokes Center for Creative Writing on Instagram!