English at the Intersection


Aparajita De
University of the District of Columbia
Helene Krauthamer
University of the District of Columbia
Cherie Ann Turpin
University of the District of Columbia
Ada Vilageliu-Diaz
University of the District of Columbia


This paper discusses how four faculty from the English BA program have responded to the crises faced during 2020 and beyond: the pandemic, the transition to online teaching, and the ongoing struggle for racial justice. First, Dr. Krauthamer provides an overview of the discussions held during our “Read and Meet” series of weekly, virtual conversations, including faculty from other programs and colleges, alumni, current students, and community members. With 24 sessions in 2020, this series resulted in a reading list of Black Lives Matter materials that we are using in our courses and the submission of a grant to the National Endowment of the Humanities. Dr. De presents how we can “understand and reconcile with some blind spots on conversations about identities and their intersections with the complexities of belonging in the 21st century.” In her words, she is concerned with “how can [one] facilitate a conversation on antiracism without also acknowledging the incompleteness of the ontology of race in the US.” Next, Dr. Turpin presents how she teaches by example, demonstrating how, in her words, “Black feminists are in a unique position to fight for a pedagogical practice that is socially progressive so that the next generation of academics will, indeed, come from the very classroom population from where we have taught.” Dr. Vilageliu-Diaz presents how these conversations can be extended to the community through her community writing project, “StoryTime,” a weekly program where children see and create their own stories. In her words, “There are many ways community-engaged writing and teaching can occur, and one of them is by collaborating with schools and supporting their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.”

UDC Faculty Senate
September 8, 2022
Online ISSN