As higher education institutions increasingly roll out diversity and inclusion initiatives, they intend to signal particular commitments. In this manuscript, we employ critical literacy as a framework for understanding the text and subtext of moments on our campus related to diversity and inclusion offices and initiatives. We first present the text of two particular moments, including the actual text of signs, messages, and conversations, but also including as a text the actions and inactions of university administrators. For each moment, we first present the text, including the actual or physical text(s), the superficial meaning(s), and the sequence of events. Then, we present the subtext and critical reading of the moment. We argue that universities take up the language and (il)logics of diversity discourses to perpetuate inequity and injustice and to reproduce white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy.
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Strunk, Kamden; Baggett, Hannah Carson; and Watts, Ivan E.
"“Diversity & Inclusion & Free Speech & Civility”: Oppression and Marginalization through Diversity Rhetoric,"
Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs: Vol. 5
, Article 4.
Available at: https://ecommons.luc.edu/jcshesa/vol5/iss3/4