Climate and Inclusion Statement
The Department of English strives to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone. Some of our efforts are highlighted on this page, which we hope will also serve as an invitation for members of our community to help us continue to make positive changes in our workplace, our classrooms, and our discipline.
Statements from our Professional Organizations
- The Modern Language Association’s Executive Council Statement Deploring Systemic Racism
- The National Council of Teacher of English’s statement on anti-racism
- The Conference on College Composition and Communication’s statement on Disability Studies in Composition
Diversity and Inclusion in the Department of English
Our Diversity Committee has provided resources for teaching and drafted a diversity statement for faculty to include in course syllabi. Most recently, the committee has explored ways to improve our support for first-generation students. Many of our faculty participate in the College’s First Faculty mentor program, and we are working on strategies to better support first-generation students throughout our curriculum. One outcome of the Committee’s work is a symposium on Diversity in the Writing Classroom planned for 2021.
The English department’s curriculum includes twenty classes that meet the International and Cultural Diversity requirements, and four more that meet the Cultural Diversity requirements — more than any other department in the college. We are actively developing additional courses in LatinX literature and other areas that will deepen our students’ engagement with scholarly and creative work by and about BIPOC and other underrepresented groups. The department has also hosted several Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars, who meet with undergraduates and present a talk that is open to the public. Through this program, we’ve hosted Laura Brown, Ayanna Thompson and coming this fall, Evie Shockley.
We are especially proud of the faculty and staff who have received awards for their efforts to support diversity, inclusion, and equity, including the College’s Achieving Climate and Inclusion Award, the Aggie Allies Rainbow Award for Accountability, Climate and Equity, and the Aggie Allies Phyllis Randolph Frye Advocacy Award. And for fifteen years, the department has sponsored Brazos Valley Reads, a program that brings socially engaged and nationally and internationally recognized writers to campus. In addition to meeting with students and faculty, BVR writers present a talk that is open to the community. Recent BVR writers have included former student Joy Castro (2018), Colson Whitehead (2019), and Elizabeth Acevedo (2020).
Our faculty includes specialists in African-American and Africana studies, Caribbean literature and thought, critical race theory, gender and queer studies, disaporic studies, indigenous studies, LatinX studies, settler colonial studies, South Asian studies, and transnational and postcolonial studies. You can learn more about research and creative work in our department in the Research and Creative Activity section of our site.