Statement from English Department Faculty to Our Students:
In the wake of the recent U.S. elections, we reaffirm our support to all of our students, particularly those who now find themselves vulnerable to hate speech, physical violence, and profound uncertainty about their civil rights. We are proud of Mount Holyoke’s leadership in educating women, in fostering diversity and inclusion, in creating an international student community, and in welcoming LBGTQ students. We stand with our students and members of the larger community who have been subject to harassment, intimidation, and threats in this era in which hateful rhetoric and harmful action have been emboldened. We reject any action that contributes to the creation of a campus climate of fear, hostility, and suspicion; and we unequivocally condemn harassment of all kinds.
As members of the English Department, we believe that the skills that we develop in our classes — critical thinking, careful reading, and analytical and creative writing — are vital for informed citizenship in this time. And as teachers of literature and other works of culture, we affirm the imagination as a tool for helping us understand the worlds we already inhabit and envision the worlds we want. We support our students as they engage in these vital activities, and we reject any threat to their membership in the community at Mount Holyoke, in the U.S., and in the world.
(With thanks to the English Departments of University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Wake Forest University, and the University of Illinois-Urbana for their statements.)