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The mission of the English Department is to foster critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills. We affirm the Penn State Values of integrity, respect, responsibility, discovery, excellence, and community. Accordingly, and in the words of that document, “we respect and honor the dignity of each person, embrace civil discourse, and foster a diverse and inclusive community.” We adhere to these values not just because they are Penn State values, but because they derive from basic human values.

In the current political and social environment and in light of recent events both nationally and in the department, the English department commits to redoubling our efforts to support access to a safe and respectful learning environment for our trans and gender nonconforming students, and to address students by the names and pronouns they choose for themselves.

We denounce hatred and intolerance in all forms. We oppose harassment based on race, gender, religion, national origin, LGBTQ+ status, immigration status, or disability. In our classrooms and in our scholarship, we explore writers, thinkers, and ideas from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds and traditions, as well as across a broad historical range. Our students can count on the English Department to sustain a generative space for creativity, rhetorical and civic deliberation, scholarly inquiry, and a radical openness to new ideas. Our department is dedicated to the work of free expression and deep learning. We are committed to maintaining that freedom.

We are proud of our English graduate assistants for their leadership and commitment in helping their classrooms and their department realize these crucial ideals. See the Penn State English Graduate Assistant Statement of Principles.

Please also see this recent message from the LGBTQA Student Resource Center: We see you. We support you. We are…with you. and be aware of efforts of the College of the Liberal Arts Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Transformation (CODIT).