American University in Washington, D.C., has announced the establishment of the department of critical race, gender, and culture studies. The new department grew out of the former Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies Collaborative, formed in 2015.
The interdisciplinary department will continue the work of the collaborative, producing scholarship and programming in traditional scholarly venues and in creative venues across the metropolitan area. The new department will focus on six areas of study: African and African American diaspora studies, American studies, Arab world studies, Asian studies, Latinx studies, and women, gender, and sexuality studies.
“The transformation of the CRGC into a department is the fruit of many years of hard work from selfless faculty and staff who have labored on behalf of under-represented groups and have modeled interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship on this campus,” said Eileen Findlay, professor of history and chair of the Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies Collaborative. “With the institutional stability provided by departmental status, the CRGC hopes to serve as a hub for cutting-edge, wide-ranging intellectual, pedagogical, and programmatic diversity and equity work at AU. We look forward to collaborating with like-minded colleagues and students in building a truly equitable, visionary university.”
American University hopes that creating an interdisciplinary department with a central mission to advance equity, inclusion, and diversity in its pedagogy, scholarship, and community building will give students and faculty an intellectual and social home where they can produce knowledge and build relationships beyond the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines.