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English Language & Literature

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Statement of Solidarity

The violence against black people our nation has witnessed in recent weeks and months has left members of this department stunned and sickened, as have ongoing efforts to rationalize long-standing regimes of oppression. We find little to surprise us in these dismal spectacles. As many U-M English faculty have taught and written about for years, and as no small number have shared in their own personal stories, these newest outrages only extend a long and heart-wrenching history and remind us all of the depths of callous complicity that have sustained it.

The protests that we’ve seen and that many in our department have joined offer a glimmer of hope that this time, at long last, we might muster together the clarity of vision to confront and dismantle deep-rooted structures of racist violence. While much of our focus has been on the national scene, systemic racism has long saturated institutions of every kind, and neither our discipline nor our department are free of its damaging habits and effects.

The Department of English pledges a commitment, in approaching a new academic year, to the thoughtful scrutiny and revision of our own entrenched practices, priorities, and assumptions in order more courageously to address lingering legacies of exclusion and to cultivate a space where all students, staff, and faculty can thrive while being affirmed and supported in the work they do.

                                                                           ---  David Porter        Gaurav Desai
                                                                                 Outgoing Chair    Incoming Chair

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