What are the English Department’s commitments to social justice?
We are proud of the department for issuing a “Statement on the 2016 Presidential Election” that commits “to study language in ways that not only acknowledge its potential to cause harm and incite social violence, but also its capacity to recognize historical differences and to work toward redressing the injustices that arise from them.”
In the spring meeting of the Critical Pedagogy Initiative, we will start with this central mission and ask how we can enact it in our classrooms, how it is reflected in our curriculum, and how it is a collective departmental project rather than an individual penchant. How can we ensure that our classes become spaces where vulnerable members of our community feel the impetus to speak that others have taken for granted? How can literary studies participate in positive social change? In what ways do we fall short of these important commitments?
We are grateful for the insights offered in our first meetings that expanded in scope from the classroom to the department and are now eager to hear thoughts on our role in the larger institution. To read more about what happened at the first meetings please visit our website: http://criticalpedagogyinitiative.english.ucsb.edu/.