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Department of English

Statement of the Department of English, June 9, 2020

The Department of English at the University of Central Oklahoma deplores the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, and it condemns the continuing, disproportionate, and frequently deadly physical, psychological, and socio-economic violence directed against Black people and People of Color across the country and in our own communities.

We support those who, through protest actions, call for change on the national, regional, and local levels in order to challenge—and, ultimately, to eliminate—the systemic racism, the unchecked abuse of institutional power, and the overt and covert discrimination that continue to make such tragedies not only possible but devastatingly frequent. We hear you. We stand with you. Black Lives Matter.

By sharing our skills and our resources, by reflecting critically on our teaching and community practices, and by challenging ourselves and our students to become agents of positive social change, we aspire to fulfill the challenge, articulated in the university’s mission statement, to contribute to the intellectual, cultural, economic, and social empowerment of marginalized and under-resourced communities.

The events of the past week have provided an occasion for thoughtful and painful reflection, informed by the insights and lived experiences of many members of our community, on our own institutional and departmental history and our failure, too often, to ensure a just, inclusive, equitable, antiracist, and empowering teaching, learning, and working environment for every member of our community. We commit ourselves to a process of meaningful growth and development that will enable all of our department’s students and faculty and staff to realize their full potential as creative, collaborative, and antiracist critical thinkers who seek and work for social justice.

In order to achieve this goal, our department is preparing to begin, in the fall semester of 2020, a year-long process of critical reflection, self-examination, strategic planning, and cultural change, focusing on inclusion, equity, diversity, and mutual support and empowerment. This process, supported by the College of Liberal Arts and the Division of Academic Affairs and informed by the work now taking place at the university level to develop a campus-wide inclusion and diversity strategic plan, will address every aspect of our shared work as a department and will take into account the aspirations, the personal and professional goals, and the lived experiences, both affirmative and traumatic, of the students, faculty, and staff who make up our departmental community.

This work will be challenging, and it will require careful listening in an environment in which every constituent’s voice, whether student, faculty, or staff, will be heard. The outcome of our shared effort, guided on an ongoing basis by expert facilitators from on and off campus, will only gradually become clear as all of us work together to build a vibrant, inclusive, responsive, and genuinely transformative academic community that uses antiracist teaching to resist and help to dismantle systemic racism.


Resource Websites

Essays

Bailey, Cathryn, “Online Feminist Pedagogy: A New Doorway into Our Brick-and-Mortar Classrooms?” Feminist Teacher 27.2-3 (2017), 253–266.

Chick, Nancy and Holly Hassel, “‘Don't Hate Me Because I'm Virtual’: Feminist Pedagogy in the Online Classroom,” Feminist Teacher 19.3 (2009), 195–215.

Dechavez, Yvette, “It’s Time to Decolonize That Syllabus,” Los Angeles Times, 8 October 2018.

Markman, Art, “How to Have Difficult Conversations Virtually,” Harvard Business Review, 8 July 2019.

Sathy, Viji, and Kelly Hogan. “Interactivity and Inclusivity Can Help Close the Achievement Gap.” Teaching in Higher Ed 197, 22 March 2018.

Stommel, Jesse. “Designing for Care: Inclusive Pedagogies in Online Teaching,” JesseStrommel.com, 19 June 2020.

Trombetta, Sadie, “10 Books about Race to Read Instead of Asking a POC to Explain It to You,” Bustle.com, 1 June 2020.

Books

Anderson, Carol, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide (Bloomsbury, 2017)

Baker, R., T. Dee, B.  Evans, and J. John, “Bias in Online Classes: Evidence from a Field Experiment.” CEPA Working Paper 18-03, Palo Alto, CA: Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis, 2018.

Baker-Bell, April, Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy (Routledge, 2020)

Burrows, Cedric D., Rhetorical Crossover: The Black Presence in White Culture (U of Pittsburgh P. 2020)

Chehade, Michael, Alex Granner, Ahmed Abdelhakim Hachelaf, Madhu Napa, Samantha Owens, and Steve Parks, Equality and Justice: An Engaged Conversation, a Troubled World (Parlor Press, 2020)

Corrigan, Lisa M., Black Feelings: Race and Affect in the Long Sixties (UP of Mississippi, 2020)

Eddo-Lodge, Reni, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race (Bloomsbury, 2019)

hooks, bell, Killing Rage: Ending Racism (Henry Holt, 1996)

Inoue, Asao B., Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing Writing for a Socially Just Future (WAC Clearinghouse, 2015)

Inoue, Asao B., Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom (WAC Clearinghouse, 2019)

Jewell, Tiffany, and Aurelia Durand, This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work (Frances Lincoln, 2020)

Jones, Feminista, Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets (Beacon, 2019)

Kendi, Ibram X., How to Be an Antiracist (One World, 2019)

Kendi, Ibram X., Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Bold Type Books, 2017)

Khan-Cullors, Patrisse, and Asha Bandele, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2020)

Kubota, Ryuko, and Angel M. Y. Lin, Race, Culture, and Identities in Second Language Education: Exploring Critically Engaged Practice (Routledge, 2009)

Lowery, Wesley, They Can’t Kill Us All: The Story of the Struggle for Black Lives (Little, Brown, 2016)

Martinez, Aja Y., Counterstory: The Rhetoric and Writing of Critical Race Theory (NCTE, 2020)

McMillan Cotton, Tressie, Thick: And Other Essays (New Press, 2019)

McWhorter, John, Word on the Street: Debunking the Myth of a Pure Standard English (Basic Books, 2000)

Moore, Kristen R., Natasha Jones, and Rebecca Walton, Technical Communication after the Social Justice Turn (Routledge, 2019)

Nash, Jennifer C. Black Feminism Reimagined: After Intersectionality (Duke UP, 2019)

Oluo, Ijeoma, So You Want to Talk about Race (Seal Press, 2019)

Phillipson, Robert, Linguistic Imperialism (Oxford UP, 1992)

Roberts, Dorothy, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Vintage, 1998)

Saad, Layla, Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor (Sourcebooks, 2020)

Spillers, Hortense J., Black, White, and in Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture (U of Chicago P, 2003)