Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

A knowledge of different literatures is the best way to free one’s self from the tyranny of any of them.
                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                  --José Martí


We in the English Department of the University of Arkansas believe a respect for policies and practices that foster diverse voices and viewpoints, that protect all members of our community against discrimination, and that maintain appropriate professional boundaries is integral to the success of our students and our program.   

We acknowledge that structures of historical oppression are still operational today, sometimes more visibly and sometimes less, and that efforts toward diversity and inclusion must permeate all levels of practice, from curriculum to teaching, from admissions to hiring, taking into account race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, neurodiversity, country of origin, citizenship status, socio-economic status, physical and mental health, and other factors that can divide and disadvantage.

Our department consists of three broad areas—literature, creative writing, and rhetoric and composition—within which our community of scholars fosters intellectual and aesthetic diversity. We try to continually reconsider what constitutes the center and the canon of our disciplines, and to renovate our departmental culture and teaching practices in response to evolving student, state, and national populations. With these conversations, we hope to provoke mutual reflection on how to respect one another's differences and build from the diversity of our communities.

We hope, above all, that if you come to us as a student, we can teach you to question, in large part by modeling our own engagement with the questions that drive us. 


Reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside… and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives here. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  --Audre Lorde


DEI News for the English Department

Lawrence Panther will be teaching the Cherokee language at the University of Arkansas this fall!

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Lawrence Panther will be teaching the Cherokee language at the University of Arkansas this fall!  This is a historic moment for the English Department, the Indigenous Studies Program, and the U of A, reminding all of the Cherokee and Indigenous presence in Arkansas.  His course in Cherokee I will be offered MW 5:00-6:20, with seats still available.  Contact the director of Indigenous Studies, Sean Teuton, at steuton@uark.edu.  We're very grateful and excited as the Program continues to grow! Wado, wado, (Thank you), Mr. Panther! 


Link to the English Department's 2020 Diversity Newsletter


Diversity Newsletter


2021-2022 Members of the English Department's DEI Committee

Chair: Professor Padma Viswanathan

Interim Chair: Professor Sean Teuton

Kristen Figgins (English Ph.D. Program)

Professor Lisa Hinrichsen

Leah Beth Johnston (English Ph.D. Program)

Professor Mohja Kahf

Instructor Karen Madison

Samer Mayyas (CLCS Ph.D. Program)

Professor Yajaira Padilla

Jordan Savage (English Ph.D. Program)

Instructor Leigh Sparks

Professor Dorothy Stephens

Gabrielle Vatthanatham (English B.A. Program)