English Language and Literature: Statement on Anti-Racism
The Department of English Language and Literature stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter in condemning the long history of Black people being brutalized, terrorized, and killed in our country. We are committed to combating white supremacy and racism in all its forms wherever we find it. Too often, we find it right here on our own campus.
We are making this statement as an assertion of our commitment to take concrete actions as we work to reimagine our disciplines and reconstruct our institutions from the ground up.
As scholars and teachers of Literature, Linguistics, Creative Writing, Written Communication, Children’s Literature, Public Relations, English Education, and Professional Writing, we have a unique opportunity to address the place of language, expression, and representation as a locus of anti-racist struggle. As interdisciplinary educators, writers, and researchers, we also have a responsibility to approach our writing and our research with an anti-racist perspective, as the forces of history, race, violence, and oppression converge whenever we sit down to write, read what others have written, or stand up to speak. We aim to listen to and work together with those undertaking efforts to end the perpetuation and the effects of these intersecting forces and the systemic racism they support.
While our commitment to social justice in our classrooms and syllabi draws on a wide range of practices, we acknowledge that our disciplines have been complicit in colonial and racist power structures, structures that we are constantly striving to critique and eliminate. We intend to enhance our efforts to achieve the aims of anti-racist action, while working to create the conditions necessary to better realize these ends.