Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Acknowledging and examining the rich diversity of cultural expression is a central commitment of the Department of English. At the graduate and undergraduate level, we regularly offer courses on African American, Native American, diasporic, and global Anglophone literatures, as well as gender studies, LGBTQ studies, and disability studies. In addition, our courses routinely explore issues of cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic difference, in local and (trans)national contexts.

Following the Diversity and Retention Initiative, launched in 2004, the Department of English has made questions of diversity a key component of our curriculum, not only through Cardinal Core courses fulfilling the Diversity I and II requirements but also through the Composition Program’s first-year writing courses. Instructors are encouraged to draw on their own research interests in their teaching, with course themes including LGBTQ studies, rhetorics of race in medieval literature, community engagement, hip-hop literacy, and peace studies. 

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee meets regularly to organize workshops and to share resources about inclusive teaching. Click on the link for the DEI Committee Report from 2020-2021. 

Resources for Inclusive Teaching

Click on the following link for resources on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Teaching.

Antiracist Action in Support of Black Lives

We, the full-time and part-time faculty of UofL’s Department of English, stand in resolute support of the Black Lives Matter movement and all who protest against police brutality, White supremacy, systemic racism, and anti-Blackness. We recognize the transformative work of activist groups and protesters around the country who are engaged in the struggle for racial justice and are working against the violence, discrimination, and oppression that Black communities have suffered and continue to face today. Read our complete statement: Commitment to Antiracist Action in Support of Black Lives.

Graduate Students and Public Engagement

In the M.A. and Ph.D. programs, many of our graduate students carry out research that critically examines issues of diversity and social justice, with dissertations on such topics as the Black Liberation Front International, medical discourses on mental disability, single motherhood, refugee communities, and translingualism. This work has been recognized with many awards for our graduate students, including the Gloria Anzaldúa Award and Scholars for the Dream Award from CCCC, the Braden Essay Contest, the M. Celeste Nichols Award, and the Guy Stevenson Award.

Many of our graduate students have engaged in collaborations with communities and institutions in Louisville and in response to local issues on the UofL campus. For example, our graduate students and faculty have initiated collaborative projects with Moore High School in Louisville and the Louisville Literary Arts Society. Other community outreach projects include the Digital Media Academy, a digital production camp for sixth-grade girls from Atkinson Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, and Cochran Elementary schools.

University Writing Center and Programming

The University Writing Center has built partnerships with two organizations in Louisville, working closely with the Western Branch Public Library and Family Scholar House, a nonprofit serving single parents pursuing higher education at local colleges. At both sites, UofL tutors provide writing tutoring and writing workshops on various topics. The Writing Center also organizes a regular LGBTQ Writing Group, an annual celebration of United Nations Mother Language Day, and faculty roundtables on issues of diversity in writing assignments. In 2018 their work was recognized with the Community Service Award from the College of Arts & Sciences.