Cross-pollination and Collective Action: Diversity and Decolonization across MLL (Roundtable)


Pedagogy & Professional

Alessia Valfredini (Fordham University)

Maria Grewe (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY)

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in diversity, decolonization, and antiracism work in the Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL) fields. Starting with the pioneering work of the group Diversity, Decolonization, and the German Curriculum (DDGC), other language fields followed steps with the founding, for example, of the Cosmopolitan Italies Collective in Italian Studies, and of the Diversity, Decolonization, and the French Curriculum (DDFC) group, plus several committees and working groups within professional organizations. This roundtable invites scholars, teachers, and activists across the Modern Languages and Literatures to share, examine, and critique ways in which the various fields of study have engaged in advancing decolonial practices, diversity, and antiracism in Modern Languages and Literatures. Questions might address but are not limited to:

What is the state of the field in the various MLL?

What has been published, and what organizations and support networks exist?

Which practices have proved conducive to sustain and advance the work of our groups?

What questions and barriers are unique to each MLL, and which do we have in common?

How can we organize for collective action and change across the different contexts and language systems?

Who are our students, and what communities of students do our institutions serve?

How do we center BIPOC student agency and foster inclusive learning communities?

How do the voices and experiences of our students shape our curriculum design, pedagogy, and praxis so they are relevant to and transformational for our students?

How do we decenter or mark unmarked whiteness?

How do we connect with critical race, gender, sexuality, migration, Indigenous, and disability studies?

How do we fight for just labor and ethical hiring practices?

How do we disrupt gatekeeping practices in hiring and publishing?

How do we expose peripheral diversity initiatives?

What does collaboration with communities outside of academia look like?

What is the state of diversity, decolonization, and the curriculum in the various Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL)? How do we connect with critical race, gender, sexuality, migration, Indigenous, and disability studies to shape our curriculum design, pedagogy, and praxis?