Diversity and Your Department

Resources for addressing diversity and inclusion

Tag: Syllabus Construction


Amburgy, P. M. (2011). Diversity, Pedagogy, and Visual Culture. Art Education, 64, 6-11. (PDF)

Amburgy discusses how she attempts to move towards an understanding of "representation, ideology, and social privilege" in the construction of her Art Education course. She details numerous assignments that she assigns her students that make them confront the ways that their social position prefigures their understanding of visual representations of different demographics. Many interesting critical resources are cited in the article.

The College Art Association. Diversity: Images and Documents of Art and Culture from http://www.collegeart.org/diversity/images

This is a database that collects links to numerous different websites that highlight the art and culture of many different underrepresented groups. This is a helpful resource to both students and professors who want to learn more about specific groups and bring that knowledge back to the classroom.

Kraehe, A. (2010). Multicultural Art Education in an Era of Standardized Testing: Changes in Knowledge and Skill for Art Teacher Certification in Texas. Studies in Art Education, 51(2), 162-175. (PDF)

Kraehe argues that it is vital for an arts educator to emphasize a multicultural approach in their classroom, as the arts educator most directly builds the students' conception of a cultural narrative; Kraehe's findings show that certification for art educators reflect a movement towards multiculturalism and contextualization of art within social and historical conditions. This article verifies the notion that systemic processes have begun to recognize multicultural and postcolonial pedagogies and encourages the art educator to continually question the narratives they teach in the classroom.


Gerdes, E. V. P., & VanDenend Sorge, T. (2015). Building Humans and Dances: Exploring Cultural Relevancy as Teaching Artists. Journal of Dance Education, 15(2), 72-76. (PDF)

While this article focuses on the logistical intricacies of teaching dance to elementary school-aged children, there is relevant information about the "student authority" within dance classes. The authors advocate for dance instruction that reflects the cultural realities of the student. Employed in a college-level dance class, this practice could provide dynamic collaborations between professor and student.

Kerr-Berry, J. (2012). Dance Education in an Era of Racial Backlash: Moving Forward as We Step Backwards. Journal of Dance Education, 12(2), 48-53. (PDF)

This article argues against the notion that our nation, and dance education in particular, is post-racial. Kerr-Berry surveys numerous racial problems that continue to plague the field of dance, and proposes that the classroom must be a place free to transgress boundaries. This is helpful as an introduction to current racial issues, and could be circulated to students new to the dance department.


Ilett, D. (2009). Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Secondary and Postsecondary German Textbooks. Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, 42(1), 50-59. (PDF)

This source is a specific inquiry into how textbooks display diversity through their use of graphics, and how these images display numerous ways in which textbooks can demonstrate (possibly problematic) difference. Ilett concludes with a series of questions that can aid the professor in selecting a racially and ethnically inclusive textbook for their course.


Anyiwo, U. M. (2014). Outside/In: Using Vampires to Explore Diversity and Alienation in a College Classroom. In L. A. Nevárez & S. George (Eds.), The Vampire Goes to College: Essays on Teaching with the Undead (pp. 45-55). Jefferson, NC: McFarland. (PDF)

This essay gives an in-depth look into a course that introduces students to the ideas of racial identity through the "back door" of genre fiction. The students depicted by Anyiwo may strike Reed professors as more resistant to discussions privilege and racism than the average Reed student may be, but there are helpful tips to be found in this work as to how one can introduce these potentially fraught ideas into a classroom.

Carlin, D. (2011). The Intersectional Potential of Queer Theory: An Example from a General Education Course in English. In M. L. Ouellett (Ed.), An Integrative Analysis Approach to Diversity in the College Classroom (pp. 55-64). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. (PDF)

This article is primarily helpful because it shows how to design a class focusing on queer theory and literature step by step. This should be read by any professor interested in discussing queerness in their classroom.

Schlund-Vials, C. J. (2011). Re-Seeing Race in a Post-Obama Age: Asian American Studies, Comparative Ethnic Studies, and Intersectional Pedagogies. In M. L. Ouellett (Ed.), An Integrative Analysis Approach to Diversity in the College Classroom (pp. 101-109). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. (PDF)

Schlund-Vials examines the recent history of race relations in the United States in order to argue that it has become more important, not less, to teach minority (literature) studies. While this has become increasingly relevant since Schlund-Vials wrote this piece, there are still compelling and well-formulated points to be found in this article.

Zitzer-Comfort, C. (2008). Teaching Native American Literature: Inviting Students to See the World through Indigenous Lenses. Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture, 8(1), 160-170. (PDF)

This article discusses how to best approach minority literatures that students may not be as familiar with compared to other majority (i.e. American, British) or well-known minority literatures (i.e. African-American). Zitzer-Comfort offers several practical tools that work to dismantle previous misconceptions of the minority and build a more nuanced view of the culture. This is recommended for any professor who wants to discuss a minority that they feel is still clouded by misinformation.


Quaglia, B. W. (2015). Planning for Student Variability: Universal Design for Learning in the Music Theory Classroom and Curriculum. Music Theory Online, 21(1). (PDF)

In this article, Quaglia proposes Universal Design for Learning as an effective way to be inclusive of students with disabilities while bettering the classroom environment for all students as a whole. This article is best suited for professors who would be open to adapting to a whole new method of teaching.


Dunn, D. S., Fisher, D. J., & Beard, B. M. (2013). Disability as diversity rather than (in)difference: Understanding others' experiences through one's own. In D. S. Dunn, R. A. R. Gurung, K. Z. Naufel & J. H. Wilson (Eds.), Controversy in the psychology classroom: Using hot topics to foster critical thinking. (pp. 209-223). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association. (PDF)

In this essay, Dunn et al. advocate for the inclusion of disability studies into undergraduate psychology curriculums. They provide a working definition of disability and related terms and make a thorough case as to why disability should be studied in the psych classroom. This is recommended for all psychology professors.

Gharib, A., & Phillips, W. (2012). Assigning culture: An example of a cross-cultural assignment for teaching introductory psychology. Psychology Learning & Teaching, 11(3), 428-432. (PDF)

In this study, Gharib and Phillips advocate assigning books that discuss cross-cultural applications of psychology to foster a greater appreciation of multiculturalism in students. This is recommended for psychology professors building their syllabi.

McCarthy, M. A., & Landrum, R. E. (2013). Treating students as early-career professionals: The ethics of teaching. In D. S. Dunn, R. A. R. Gurung, K. Z. Naufel, J. H. Wilson, D. S. Dunn, R. A. R. Gurung, K. Z. Naufel, & J. H. Wilson (Eds.), Controversy in the psychology classroom: Using hot topics to foster critical thinking. (pp. 35-45). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association. (PDF)

This document is an extremely useful step-by-step guide to successfully incorporating discussions of diversity into the classroom. It details such practices as writing a diversity mission statement for your course and discussing openly how tests are graded. This is recommended for all professors.


Bowles, N. (2005). Why Devise? Why Now? "Houston, We Have a Problem.". Theatre Topics, 15(1), 15-21. (PDF)

This article emphasizes the importance of diversity and inclusion in the creation of devised or collaborative theatre. This would be helpful for professors thinking of including devised theatre on their curriculum.