MLL Vocab Diversity Initiative 2.0: Tutorial and Internship Program Fall 2021

In 2020 in response to the murder of George Floyd and a call for action around the world the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, with generous support from Rafael Zapata, Chief Diversity Officer and the Office of The Chief Diversity Officer along with the Deans of Arts and Sciences, initiated a collaborative overhaul of our language syllabi over the summer of 2020 and a series of roundtables in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 to address the systemic racism, classism, sexism, and ableism that arise from vocabulary and its representation.

We realize, however, that the work has only just begun and there is much more that needs to be done. As part of the MLL Vocab Diversity Initiative 2.0 that has been funded through TRAC we propose a unique tutorial and internship program for fall 2021 (see a description below) in addition to a series of roundtables and workshops that will be collaboratively planned with students who participate in the tutorial or internships during the 2021-22 academic year. Students have asked for more input in the curriculum and curricular changes. We are listening and hope that this collaborative tutorial and internship program will lead to significant changes, innovation, and greater inclusivity. We hope that interested students who are committed to the fight against racism, who are interested in languages, and who seek to transform the curriculum will apply. You can learn more and fill out the application here.

Thank you and have a wonderful summer!

MLL Vocab Diversity Initiative 2.0 Committee (Dr. Andrew H. Clark, Dr. Sarah Grey, Dr. Joshua Jordan, Dr. Patricia Romero, and Dr. Alessia Valfredini)

MLL Vocab Diversity Initiative 2.0: Anti-Racism in the MLL Curriculum Tutorial and Internship Program. Description

Striving to embody anti-racist practices, the group, which will be composed of 8-16 students (we are aiming for at least one student from each of our languages) and 5 faculty, will begin the tutorial/internship by receiving an anti-racist training and reading foundational texts in anti-racist and anti-oppression pedagogy. Members will systematically examine materials, activities, and practices used in our language classes. They will attend and observe language classes at different levels in the language sequence throughout the semester. They will explore models developed by other institutions across different educational contexts. All of this will be done to then (re)imagine an anti-racist language curriculum that responds to the needs, the fundamental values, and the aspirations of Fordham, particularly as it embarks on its “Educating for Justice” strategic plan.

Students may take the course as a tutorial for 4 credits or as an internship for 2/4 credits. The workload will vary according to the number of credits. Those choosing the internship option will have independent project-based research work bringing together and analyzing materials whereas those in the tutorial will work more collaboratively on researching, discussing, and drafting the proposed recommendations. The tutorial and internship are to be student driven with faculty mentorship. Both will result in tangible recommendations for curriculum revision in MLL based on their analysis of what that curriculum currently achieves, what the MLL Vocab Diversity Initiative was able to put into place, and what still needs to be addressed. The recommendations will be presented in December to the entire MLL faculty and implementation will begin in spring 2022.

The tutorial/internship may count (upon permission) toward a student’s MLL major/minor. Applicants must a) state their interesting in the tutorial/internship, including life/work experience; b) list the courses they’ve taken in MLL and relevant courses outside of MLL; c) their experience participating in anti-racist activities on campus d) their commitment to anti-racist language pedagogy and their ability to work collaboratively. The organizers particularly invite students who are racialized or/and marginalized for their identities and are interested in the theme to apply, not for a lack of recognition of the burden that marginalized people face when are asked to advocate against their own oppression, but to give voice and resonance to perspectives that have been and continue to be kept at the periphery or excluded.

Accepted students may volunteer to work approximately 10 hours between July 15 and August 15 to begin the initial planning with faculty mentors on the initial roundtables and workshops to take place in September and October.

The planned schedule for project members in Fall 2021 will be Wednesdays at 4-5:30pm. Class sessions will take place on LC and RH (campus schedule TBD); those sessions not on your home campus may be attended remotely.

If you have any questions about the application or project, please contact Prof. Patricia Romero