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Diversity and Inclusion


Poetry is Not a Luxury: Authors as Activists, Writing as Resistance
Union 226, 2:50-3:30pm (Session Period 2)

In 1985 legendary African American activist-feminist-lesbian-poet Audre Lorde persuasively argued that “poetry is not a luxury.” This presentation explains why that is in a series of lightning talks that introduce the long, deeply intersecting history of literature, language, and activism. The presentation includes a brief introduction (five mins) and a series of five, five-minute lightning talks (25 mins total) on authors like Lorde, Chicana activist/theorist Gloria Anzaldúa, Mohawk writer-organizer Beth Brant, Indian activist-author Arundhati Roy, and gay rights activist-comics creator Allison Bechdel. The lightning talks will be followed by five-minute audience pair-and-share on the presentations and concluded with a final open discussion OR an audience poetry-writing session (their vote) on the intersections of literature, language, and social justice.


Tanya Gonzalez

Dr. Tanya González
Professor, Department of English

Tanya González specializes in U.S. Latina/o Studies and Ethnic American Literature.  She is co-author with Eliza Rodriguez y Gibson of Humor and Latina/o Camp in Ugly Betty: Funny Looking (Lexington, 2015). In addition to her research on Latinas/os in the media she studies the use of the gothic and other speculative genres in Latina/o literature and cultural production. She is a member of the Cultural Studies track and affiliated faculty in Women’s Studies and American Ethnic Studies. Dr. González is the Faculty Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry. As a first-generation college student, she is committed to mentoring students academically and professionally. As such, she is also involved in the Developing Scholars Program and works with McNair and SUROP students.

Katherine Karlin

Dr. Katherine Karlin
Associate Professor, Department of English

Katherine Karlin teaches film and creative writing at Kansas State University. She serves as the co-director of the Gordon Parks Archive at Kansas State and the director of the Young Writers’ Workshop. Dr. Karlin's fiction has been anthologized in The Pushcart Prize and New Stories from the South, and her stories have appeared in One-Story, ZYZZYVA, North American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and many other journals. Her fiction has been read in the "Stories on Stage" series at the Denver Performing Arts Center, and her nonfiction is included in One Word from Sarabande Press. Her short story collection, Send Me Work, was published in October 2011 by Northwestern University Press.

Anuja Madden

Dr. Anuja Madan
Assistant Professor, Department of English

Anuja Madan primary research areas are contemporary Indian comics, children’s literature, media and childhoods. Dr. Madan is currently working on a book project that investigates post-millennial mythological Indian graphic narratives and animations. She teaches courses in world literature, children’s literature and cultural studies. She has a co-authored book, Notes of Running Feet: English in Primary Textbooks (Eklavya, 2013 and has recent articles in Graphic Novels for Young Adults and Children: a Collection of Critical Essays (2017), and The Routledge Companion to International Children’s Literature (2017). Dr. Madan is part of the Children’s Literature and Cultural Studies track. She also serves as affiliated faculty in the Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies Department.

Tosha Sampson-Choma

Dr. Tosha Sampson-Choma
Assistant Professor, Department of English

Tosha Sampson-Choma teaches courses that include African American literature, Black Women Writers, Black American Social Movements and African American Women and Identity Formation. She has published articles and book chapters on Maya Angelou, Andrea Levy, NoViolet Bulawayo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sherley Anne Williams, as well as contributed to the book, Toni Morrison on Mothers and Motherhood. Dr. Sampson-Choma has been a fellow in Columbia University’s Summer Teachers and Scholars Institute, sponsored by the Institute for Research in African American Studies. She is the Book Review Editor for College Language Association Journal.

Lisa Tatonetti

Dr. Lisa Tatonetti
Professor, Department of English

Lisa Tatonetti studies, teaches, and publishes on queer Indigenous literatures. She is co-editor of Sovereign Erotics, an award-winning collection of Two-Spirit creative work, and author of The Queerness of Native American Literature, which won the 2015 Thomas J. Lyons Book Award and is on the ALA 2016 Over the Rainbow Recommended Reading List. She is completing her current book manuscript, Indigenous Knowledges Written by the Body.