Events

Upcoming Events

Wednesday March 2 10-11:30 AM and Thursday March 3 5-6:30 PM: Felicia Rose Chavez Anti-Racist Workshops

Funded with help from the Creative Writing and First Year Writing programs
March 2, 10 AM-11:30 AM
Adapting Our Teaching Habits
“So much of teaching is about inheritance, about reinforcing the way it’s always been done. Many of us can’t even articulate why we teach the way that we do, beyond tradition serving as a rite of passage. Every one of us carries this inheritance into the classroom, through our choice of dress, demeanor, curriculum, and evaluative measures. Whether or not we’re aware, academic heritage has present-day weight and substance. It’s the same with cultural heritage. Where we’re from (and how we “read”) influences our relationship to, and assumption of, inherent rights, benefits, and advantages. As educators, this bias perpetuates our classroom policies. If “the way it’s always been done” hurts and marginalizes a subset of our students, how might we adapt our teaching habits to actively achieve plurality? This interactive 90-minute session draws on storytelling, freewriting exercises, and discussion to prompt us to interrogate our academic and cultural inheritance with the goal of discovering possibilities beyond traditional teaching models.”

March 3, 5 PM-6:30 PM
Critique Across Disciplines
“Critique is an intricate skill that necessitates our attention, from one-on-one thesis advising to peer review exercises, small group work, and large group workshop. Imagine if we empowered students to take charge of their writing by teaching them professional managerial practices, those real-life skills that best serve long-term, collaborative projects. By training students in how to summarize their projects, articulate constructive questions, and moderate their own feedback sessions, we acknowledge their accountability. Students go on to claim ownership of not only their work, but their working relationships with professors and peers. This 90-minute session offers 20 specific, practical take-aways to re-conceptualize critique.”

March 31, 4-5 PM: Invisible Illness Workshop
COVID has forced us to rethink things like attendance policies and other classroom policies that can encourage students who feel sick to come to our classes anyway. But what about our students who are suffering from invisible illnesses, chronic problems which may impair their ability to do the work we expect of them? The Office of Disability Services can provide official accommodations for students suffering from chronic illness, but not all students may be willing to disclose such conditions, and not all chronic conditions have been securely established yet: for example, not every doctor may be comfortable providing a student with documentation about a condition like “brain fog” from long COVID. Additionally persistent equity issues remain in cases where women and BIPOC sufferers seek diagnosis and treatment. This workshop will provide some contexts for the challenges students with chronic health conditions may face, as well as the reasons they may not disclose or receive official accommodations, and suggest ways in which we can rethink assignments and classroom requirements to provide alternatives for all our students which will help this population of students substantially.
Speakers: David Ainsworth (English), Vanessa Goepel (Office of Disability Services)

Past Events

Fall 2021
November 4 3:30-5:30 PM: Listening Session
The department’s Diversity Initiative gathered those available and willing to meet on Zoom on Tuesday, November 4th from 4-6 PM to share experiences from this semester and concerns about the future. This session was not a brown-bag where we’ll be hearing from people with concrete suggestions about how to address inequity or foreground diversity issues in our classrooms. Instead, we provided a forum where the teachers and students of our department can share their experiences with a wider group. Despite the return to campus, subcommunities within English remain more isolated than they would be under normal circumstances, and it can be hard to get a real sense of the scale and scope of what many of us have been going through, or about how bad things have gotten for those of us with the least privilege within their classrooms (and our students, as always, are acutely aware of those differences in privilege). The Initiative passed along concerns to the department’s Diversity Committee and Chair.

Past Events

Spring 2021
April 7 3-4:15pm: Student Voices Town Hall

Flyer for Student Voices Town Hall event

The English Department Diversity Initiative, in partnership with the department’s Diversity Committee, will hold a virtual Student Voices Town Hall on Wednesday, April 7th 3-4:15pm CST centered on the experiences of undergraduates. Student panelists will speak on the following prompt for 5-7 minutes each, and the remaining time will be open to Q & A:

Describe a way that you have encountered challenges related to inclusion, representation, or equity as a student at UA. What strategies have you used to manage this challenge? What changes would you like to see among faculty or institutionally–from the department or the university as a whole–to help create a more inclusive, equitable environment?

Panelists: Sala Bandele-Jackson, Aleah Brown, Jeffrey Kelly, Valerie Lawhorn, and Caitlyn McTier

Zoom link: https://uasystem.zoom.us/j/99646837059?pwd=T2Nkd1IvRmt6OFc2WVJaOE5taTlVdz09

March 29 1-2pm: Diversity Brown Bag on 200-level Lit Surveys

Panelists: Andy Crank, Christopher Love, and Lauren Cardon

Zoom link: https://uasystem.zoom.us/j/94873616492

January

January 28 & 29: First Year Writing presents Dr. Asao B. Inoue. RSVP to fywp@ua.edu with ‘Workshop YES’ and/or ‘Keynote YES.’ Session 1, Keynote Lecture: “What Does it Mean to Form an Antiracist Orientation to Teaching Writing,” Thursday, January 28, 4:00-5:30 pm CST. Session 2, Faculty Workshop: “Labor-Based Grading Contracts as Antiracist Classroom Writing Assessment Practice,” Friday, January 29, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm CST.

February

February 19: Zoom brownbag workshop focused on DEI values and concerns specifically related to teaching EN 205 and EN 207. The workshop is an offshoot of the Diversity Brownbag Series organized by Lauren Cardon and Jenifer Park, and it is co-sponsored by Strode. 1pm. Zoom info TBA.

March

March 1: The [Name This] Open Mic Series – Mapping the Margins

Everyone involved with this series has been dedicated to fostering voices within the University of Alabama. Following the protests of last summer in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and other Black lives lost to racial injustice and systemic racism, we decided that it was important to create an event dedicated to fostering voices from all marginalized communities. As a result, we have created the “Mapping the Margins” edition of the open mic, in which we want to encourage a multitude of minorities speakers, including but not limited to people that are ethnic minorities, have LGBTQ+ identities, are part of the neurodivergent community, have disabilities, or possess any number of other marginalized perspectives, to celebrate diversity and highlight their own experiences. We intend this space to amplify voices from a multitude of marginalized communities, identities, and backgrounds while opening a conversation around intersectionality.

2020

January 

January 15-31: Social Work Reading Buddies program at MLK Elementary. Interested participants can sign up to be a reading buddy here, or purchase a book for the school’s wish list.

January 31: Diversity Workshop Series Accessible Syllabus workshop with Dr. Anne-Marie Womack, Morgan 301, 2-3:30pm (Registration Required)

Accessible Syllabus Workshop

February 

February 2: PRISM presents a screening of The Same Difference (2015 documentary by Nneka Onuorah) at the Ferguson Center Movie Theater, 3pm.

February 27: Diversity Workshop Series Students and Mental Health workshop with Prof. Cade Collum, Morgan 301, 5pm

flyer for mental health workshop

March

March 24: Diversity Workshop Series Inclusive Lesson Planning workshop with Prof. Lauren Cardon, Morgan 301, 5pm (NOTE: event was moved online due to the university’s COVID-19 policies and semester completion plans.

Strategies for Inclusive Lesson Planning flyer

April 

April 17: Diversity Workshop Series, Workshop and Keynote with FYW guest speaker Dr. Asao Inoue, time and location TBA (NOTE: Because of the university’s semester completion plans in light of COVID-19, this event will be postponed until fall.)

August

August 14: Building Inclusive Classrooms in an Online Environment, a webinar on strategies that will help them more effectively build virtual classrooms that foster a sense of inclusion. Facilitators Cassie Smith and Nathan Loewen, 1pm. More info here.

September

September 25: Faculty Webinar Series, Teaching With Tension: A National Election, A Pandemic, State-Sanctioned Violence and Strategies for Talking about Race in Our Current Moment.  Facilitators Dr. Cassie Smith and Dr. Mary Meares, 1pm. More info here.

September 30: Druid City Pride, poetry and prose reading, 7pm: https://www.facebook.com/events/1684063828453372

October

October 14: Brown Bag Diversity Workshop 1 featuring panelists Madeline Kinkel, Kwoya Fagin Maples, and Daniel Novak; Topic: How can I incorporate a diversity component in my class if the subject matter doesn’t have an immediate connection to race, ethnicity, or many of the other ways we typically think of diversity? Time: 1pm-2pm. Zoom.

October 15: Kayleb Rae Candrilli, recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award and author of Water I Won’t Touch (Copper Canyon, 2021), All the Gay Saints (Saturnalia 2020), and What Runs Over (YesYes Books, 2017), will be joining us for a virtual event co-sponsored by The Women and Gender Resource Center and The Safe Zone Resource Center. Time: 6-7:30. Zoom.

November

November 19: Faculty Webinar Series, When the Multitudes Come: How to Channel Student Activism to Build Strong Networks of Allyship in the Classroom. Facilitator Dr. Utz McKnight, 1pm. Registration and more info here.

December

December 2: Diversity Brown Bag Workshop 2, featuring Josh Weathersby, Seth Stewart, and Khay Billingsley

2019

February 18: Diversity Symposium “Teaching with Tension,” featuring workshop led by Drs. Lee Bebout and Philathia Bolton, faculty panel of Drs. Lexi McGee, Andy Crank, Nathan Loewen, Ashley Burge, and Kirstin Bone

Diversity Symposium Flyer