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: A public conversation with Albert Woodfox, the author of Solitary


The Department will host workshops on ‘Talking About Race’ and ‘Bystander Intervention’ in Fall 2020 (dates tbc), with further workshops in Spring 2021.

Reading Groups

Anti-Racist Pedagogy Reading Group 
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.

Fall 2020 Schedule

9/16/20: Planning Meeting

9/30/20: Racial Justice in the Classroom: Harbin, Thurber, and Bandy, “Teaching Race, Racism, and Racial Justice”; Lauren Michele Jackson, “What is an Anti-racist Reading List For?”; Melissa Phruksachart, “The Literature of White Liberalism”

10/1/20: Initiative on Literature and Racial Justice: A public conversation with Albert Woodfox, the author of Solitary

10/14/20: Race, Inequality, and the University: Daniel HoSang and Joseph Lowndes, “Theorizing Race in the Age of Inequality”; Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (selections)

10/28/20: Abolitionist Pedagogies: Guest speaker (tba) from Yale Prison Education Initiative

11/11/20: Black Feminist Pedagogies: Alexis Pauline Gumbs, “Nobody Mean More: Black Feminist Pedagogy and Solidarity”; Jacqui Alexander, Pedagogies of Crossing (selections)