Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values of the English Department at the University of South Carolina. Our department is committed to working to build and sustain an equitable and inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated and valued. We welcome all gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, and disabilities, as well as racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, socioeconomic, religious, and national backgrounds. The academic and social energy that results from such diversity is essential to advancing knowledge, addressing society’s most pressing issues, and attending to the full spectrum of human needs. We believe that our community is enriched by the broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world contributed by each of its members; that people from different backgrounds and with different views should be prepared to treat one another with mutual respect and honest curiosity so that they can engage and learn from one another; and that every member of the USC community has a role in sustaining a safe, caring, and humane environment in which these values can thrive.
We acknowledge that academic practices of knowledge-making have historically excluded many populations and perspectives. As a department of English, we recognize the role language and literature have played in the perpetuation of inequality in the past and in the present. Yet we also recognize the potential for resistance and change that attaches to the words people use, the stories they tell, and the actions they take. In this spirit, we commit to redressing exclusions by building a curriculum aligned with our values; recognizing diverse positionalities among students, staff, and faculty; removing barriers to inclusion and advancement; and welcoming conversations about how we can do better.