In the wake of the presidential election, we have seen alarming incidents of hateful and intimidating behavior, both locally and nationally. We believe these incidents are legitimized by a rising discourse of xenophobia and exclusion. At this pivotal moment in our national life, the Department of English wishes to affirm publicly its commitment to the value of diversity and to an expansive ethics of care. We enliven our commitment through foregrounding practices and ideas of inclusion and social justice, such as pedagogies, programs, and research that face head-on issues of discrimination and inequity. Our work as humanities educators requires us to teach and live these values, and to foster our students’ thinking capacities for global awareness and informed critique, empathy, and imagination. These values are at the cornerstone of our curricula and our scholarship. They are also central to the public mission of Michigan State University and to a functional and just democracy.
The faculty of the Department of English also stand by the open letter offered by MSU’s College of Arts and Letters.