Department of Modern Languages' Statement on Diversity
The Department of Modern Languages, a unique space in which humanistic and linguistic research and teaching intersect, is firmly committed to building a community that is radically inclusive of people of all backgrounds while simultaneously recognizing the inherent social, personal, political, and institutional racism pervasive in higher education. We commit, as individuals and as a department, to actively engage in research and teaching practices that prioritize social justice, and are anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-discriminatory of LGBTQ people. In doing so, we strive to provide a safe, respectful environment that promotes the success of all individuals, and that fosters a space for dialogue.
We do not tolerate harassment, discrimination or disrespect. In our role as researchers and teachers in the Humanities and Social Sciences, we believe that it is central to our work to document, interrogate, and challenge societies and social relationships, and the structures of power and systems of oppression that discriminate against and inflict multiple forms of violence upon certain groups. We carry out this work through a critical, historical and contemporary analysis of language, texts, films, and other cultural processes and products. Through our work as humanists, social scientists, and linguists, we aim to promote a better understanding of how these systems operate and intersect across time and in different cultures in order to denounce inequality and to create a more just society for all, locally and globally.
Department of Modern Languages – Anti-Racist Plan of Action for AY 21-22
In light of ongoing systemic racism and the murder and brutality carried out by the police on George Floyd, Breana Taylor, and Antwon Rose, and countless others, we stand in solidarity with all who protest injustice.
The Department of Modern Languages will continue to engage in AY 21-22 with the following activities that we began last AY:
- we will participate in a year-long series of workshops focusing on anti-racist pedagogy and research practices.
- we will review our syllabi, and our teaching and research methodologies to ensure that they honor and promote diverse voices and epistemologies, sources of knowledge creation and perspectives, especially those of Black and other underrepresented intellectuals, scholars, and learners.
- we will host a year-long speaker series open to the campus and greater Pittsburgh community, to examine anti-Blackness as well as anti-racist responses from a global perspective, in different cultural contexts around the world.
- we will highlight and promote the vast contributions of Black writers, artists and cultural workers throughout the diverse language and cultural areas we study.
This is an open forum for collecting information and discussing ways to not only recognize and prioritize black and brown writers, historians, artists, theorists, etc. in our courses, but to embrace a pedagogy that is anti-racist. Please contribute and comment as there is much to learn/share from one another.