Social Justice and Activism

The Social Justice & Activism focus area is designed for students interested in the intersections of theory, cultural production, and practice, using English studies to effect meaningful and transformative changes to the systems and institutions that structure our lives. In this focus area, you will learn various theories of change and learn about the work of practitioners (writers, artists, journalists, organizers and activists) and how they use their skills to advance equity. You will also read and parse out explicit and implicit theories of change, in an environment that foregrounds social justice among peers who have also committed to this kind of work. In the process, you learn tools you can apply and test through localized projects.

In this focus area, you will engage in multiple kinds of social justice and activism work, from interrogating linguistic systems and their links to power structure to collaborating in community journalism. Working from the belief that simply understanding injustice is not enough, this focus area highlights our collective obligation to each other and how we can work towards solidarity, liberation, and justice. You will connect and extend knowledge from English Studies to articulate and implement interventions that challenge systems of oppression and promote just and equitable outcomes.


Choose four of the following courses to complete the Social Justice and Activism focus area:

  • CLS 255 (20th Century Native American Literature)
  • CLS 258 (Women's Literature I)          
  • CLS 259 (Women's Literature II)
  • CLS 333 (Latina Writing)
  • CLS 335 (Latino Literature in the U.S.)
  • DHM 210 (Introduction to Gaming)
  • ENG 240 (Language, Gender, and Sexuality)
  • ENG 305 (Environmental/Experiential Writing: Taking Action)
  • ENG 339 (Dialects of American English)
  • ENG 375 (Strategies for Writing in the Workplace)
  • ENG 397 (Writing Tutoring)   
  • JRN 200 (Introduction to Journalism)
  • JRN 226 (Public Affairs Reporting)
  • JRN 399 (Special Topics in Journalism)           
  • LIT 202 (African American Literature I)          
  • LIT 203 (African American Literature II)         
  • LIT 207 (Life and Times of Frederick Douglass)
  • LIT 213 (Asian American Literature)
  • LIT 303 (Intro to Multi-Ethnic American Literature)
  • LIT 309 (Thoughts/Writings of Martin Luther King)
  • LIT 310 (African American Novel I)
  • LIT 311 (African American Novel II)
  • LIT 360 (Special Topics Children's/Young Adult Literature    
  • LIT 372 (African American Urban Literature)
  • WRH 210 (Multicultural Writing)       
  • WRH 310 (Written Rhetoric: Power, Politics, and Environmental Writing)
  • WRH 315 (Propaganda, Power, and Politics)
  • WRH 335 (Activism and Advocacy Writing)
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