English Initiatives

Readings and Lectures

Yale English Initiative on Literature and Racial Justice
This series of readings and lectures highlights questions of race and resistance, and focuses on the ways that creative writers, performers, critics and readers have shaped histories of racial justice and empowerment over the centuries.

Initiative on Literature and Racial Justice: Randall Horton

Initiative on Literature and Racial Justice: A public conversation with Albert Woodfox, the author of Solitary


Inclusive Teaching and Meaningful Writing
A Workshop Series for Faculty and Graduate Student Teachers of Writing, led by Felisa Baynes-Ross

This two-part workshop series brings current research in rhetoric and composition together with inclusive and culturally responsive pedagogies that make writing meaningful to all students. The goal is to promote new methods for inclusive teaching while reflecting on what we value as scholars, teachers, and members of a shared pedagogical enterprise. We welcome faculty and graduate student teachers of writing from all departments to join us for either or both sessions. Refreshments will be provided—please RSVP.
10/7/22, 10:00am-12:00pm: The first workshop focuses on multimodal composition as an adaptable framework for understanding how students’ diverse language habits, abilities, and experiences shape and inform the writing process. Multimodal approaches locate students as experts with knowledge and skills to contribute within scholarly and public conversations and can help them move beyond the familiar constraints of the five-paragraph essay. We will explore strategies for designing or adapting syllabuses and assignments to embrace the possibilities of multimodal composition.
11/4/22, 12:00pm-2:00pm: The second session turns from course and assignment design to writing evaluation, to consider how our modes of assessment and philosophies of grading can both support meaningful learning and encourage students to take intellectual risks. To what extent does our grading reflect what we value in student writing, and how well do our assessment strategies promote the development of all students in our classrooms? What role does evaluation play in a holistic writing pedagogy, and how might it play that role better?

Reading Groups

Engaging Racial Justice in Our Classrooms 

Convenors: Rasheed Tazudeen and Sunny Xiang

The broad aims of the group are to provide a space to discuss anti-racist teaching philosophies and practices from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, to think through ways to incorporate anti-racist pedagogy into our course designs and classrooms, and to put the work of critical pedagogy and literary studies in deeper theoretical and practical conversation with racial and social justice movements both locally and globally. We welcome Yale faculty, graduate students, and participants from all departments and disciplines.

Meeting summaries for the Engaging Racial Justice reading group

Race Before 1800 Working Group

Convenors: Ayesha Ramachandran and Xavier Lee

The Race before 1800 working group is back for an exciting semester of events. Meeting dates will be posted as they become available.

Join our listserv and stay abreast of upcoming meetingshttps://mailman.yale.edu/mailman/listinfo/race-1800

Fall 2022 Schedule

9/14/21, 9:00am: Elijah Anderson

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences invites you to attend the Kickoff event for a series of lectures about anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion on Wednesday, September 14th, at 9:00 AM in Humanities Quad, L02 Auditorium. Elijah Anderson is the Sterling Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies at Yale University, and one of the leading urban ethnographers in the United States. His most recent publication is Black in White Space: The Enduring Impact of Color in Everyday Life (2022). This in-person event focuses on informing and educating on the awareness of racial biases, exclusion, and collaboration on change.

Spring 2023 Schedule