Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Los Angeles Review of Books Releases UMD English Antiracism Publication

July 06, 2021 English | College of Arts and Humanities

antiracism UMD graphic

The series “Antiracism in the Contemporary University” is a product of the recent year-long Antiracism Series hosted by the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies.

By Rosie Grant

Work by seven faculty and alumni from the Department of English is featured in a new issue of the literary journal Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) focused on antiracism. The review, which covers the national and international book scenes, has never before published a collection that includes such extensive work by emerging scholars.

“Antiracism in the Contemporary University” draws on scholarship featured during the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies’ (CLCS’) Antiracism Series, which brought together scholars, teachers, students and writers from the U.S. and abroad for 22 virtual events on topics including the importance of community and communal histories and dismantling white supremacy. LARB has labeled the publication a “symposium” to distinguish the way the 12 essays and five written conversations give contributors a platform to connect with a broad audience.   

Among the faculty contributors are Professor GerShun Avilez, Assistant Professor Cecilia Shelton, Distinguished University Professor Mary Helen Washington and Senior Lecturer Dennis Winston. English alumni Kian Kelley-Chung '19 and Emily Yoon Perez Ph.D. '18 also contributed work.

In her essay, Shelton, a rhetorics scholar, focuses on the importance of informal spaces, particularly group chats, for Black women to use as a venue for intellectual feedback, insight and instruction.

“As academics we get comfortable with talking amongst ourselves,” Shelton said. “Preparing for the LARB symposium helped me think about what I want to say to audiences beyond academia. It’s important for scholars to face a public audience.”

CLCS director Tita Chico, who organized the CLCS Antiracism Series, edited the symposium and wrote its introduction, in which she highlights the importance of featuring diverse perspectives in antiracist work.

“LARB is a very high-profile venue with a wide readership,” said Chico. “Publishing these essays is a step in recognizing antiracism as an unfinished and collective project.”

Two additional essay clusters coming from the Department of English’s CLCS Antiracism Series will be published by Public Books magazine in September and The Eighteenth Century journal in Spring 2022.

Read the LARB “Antiracism in the Contemporary University” symposium here.