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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English

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Statement of concern regarding the death of George Floyd and in support of protests against police violence

"My response to racism is anger. I have lived with that anger, ignoring it, feeding upon it, learning to use it before it laid my visions to waste, for most of my life. Once I did it in silence, afraid of the weight. My fear of anger taught me nothing. Your fear of that anger will teach you nothing, also.” Audre Lorde, “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism"

A collective statement from English Department faculty, graduate students, and staff:

The English Department at Syracuse University strongly condemns the murder of George Floyd and stands in unequivocal solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and its resistance to the police state and to racialized violence against Black communities. We add our voices to national and international calls for justice in investigating the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other victims in the long history of police brutality, structural racism, and systemic violence in this country.

In this crucial time of anti-racist protests and mobilizations, and in recognition of their connection to strong anti-racist student movements on our own campus, we reaffirm our full support of #NotAgainSU, a Black student-led movement that calls for holding the university’s leadership accountable for its handling of racist hate crimes on campus and its treatment of protesting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students. We support activist and student calls for demilitarizing the police force in our communities, and disarming DPS on campus.

In refusing the perpetuation of all structures and methods that harm and devalue the lives of Black people and People of Color, Indigenous, and LGBTQIA+ communities, we commit ourselves to examining our own departmental and programmatic structures, acknowledging our complicities and shortcomings, as well as strengths. To that end, we pledge to bring awareness and justice to our classrooms and to all of our wider communities by foregrounding racialized voices, experiences, and histories in our curricula, our pedagogies, and our practices of recruiting and retaining faculty and students of color. Through these forms of self-examination and action, we affirm our rejection of the normalization of racial violence and structural racism, and lend our voices and labor to the struggle for social and racial justice.

To help us collectively engage with this current moment that calls for resistance, protest, and solidarity with Black communities, we have created a resource page that features relevant readings, announcements, films, and other materials. We invite you to contribute to this list by contacting Coran Klaver at ccklaver@syr.edu.

English and Textual Studies

Take a journey through the human experience via literary study. Explore creative expression across a broad array of texts—novels, plays, film, digital media and more. Interpret motivations behind stories of yesterday and today and hone your skills as a writer.

The curriculum is called English and Textual Studies (ETS) to acknowledge the breadth and diversity of the texts you will study. While courses certainly feature well-known literary texts from the past and present, the standard fiction, poetry, and drama has expanded to include new kinds of texts, including film, digital media, graphic novels, political manifestos, autobiography and other forms of non-fictive prose.

ETS is designed to:

  • Introduce you to a wide array of texts.
  • Enhance your ability to interpret texts and express ideas; develop powers of argument and analysis.
  • Train you to write critically and clearly about your understanding.
  • Develop skills for writers of poetry and fiction and help you become critical readers of your own work though creative writing courses.

Diverse faculty, including literary historians, critical theorists, film scholars, editors, poets and novelists, approach the field in a variety of ways. They are dedicated teachers, confident that courses will help you to understand this changing textual universe and to acquire the verbal, analytical, and critical powers essential to your intellectual development and future success. ETS faculty are accessible and want to see you succeed.

Study abroad.

Studying abroad is a great opportunity to expand your horizons as a student, reader and writer. ETS majors are encouraged to study abroad, particularly at Syracuse University's London campus, which regularly offers a variety of ETS courses from Shakespeare to Victorian novels to contemporary British cinema. For information on programs and available London courses, contact Syracuse University Abroad.

Make a difference in the world.

An English degree from Syracuse University opens up many professional doors. You can work as an editor, filmmaker, marketer, journalist or countless other opportunities. Learn more about all your options and talk to your advisor.

English Department News

Books by Department of English Faculty