About the Department

Our Mission

Exploring the texts around us, sharing stories and new perspectives, and studying language to better understand the world around us. Students in the Department of Languages & Literatures explore the persistent questions of humanity as they have developed in a variety of cultures, times, and places through immersion and interaction with voices, texts, images, and technologies. From this, our students develop the intellectual and practical skills to communicate across cultures and thrive in our changing world.

Photo of faculty outside. Photo of faculty outside.

Statement of Solidarity

We, the Faculty of the Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Northern Iowa, stand in solidarity with BIPOC communities and the call to end systemic racism. We acknowledge our own place in systems of oppression. Many of us work with languages connected to histories of colonial power, subjugation, settlement, slavery, and genocide. We cannot sanitize the narratives and linguistic power of our profession. We also acknowledge how neither our city nor our campus is especially welcoming to Black students or people of color. As we uphold peaceful protests, we also acknowledge that additional action and advocacy must happen.

To this end, we:

  • pledge to redouble our efforts to support and encourage antiracist readings, content, and assignments in our current courses and beyond;
  • stand with faculty who deliver culturally relevant instruction and, in so doing, connect with our most vulnerable students, especially Black and indigenous students who are at greatest risk from police and epidemiological violence;
  • pledge to listen to stories of systemic racism and oppression, and offer support to those who do the difficult work of sharing these stories;
  • counsel and demand of our administrators, Regents, and legislators a more inclusive and cooperative relationship with BIPOC faculty, staff, and students; and
  • ask the College of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences as well as the Faculty Senate to help us further the Racial and Ethnic Coalition’s 2019 goals to reach a diverse curriculum.