An effort to make the required courses more diverse in readings.
By Madison Sciba
As part of the Saint Mary’s curriculum, every student has to take Seminar courses during their college careers. In the past few years, the lack of diversity in the Seminar readings has become a problem. This has led to the Seminar faculty working to change the curriculum to become more diverse. There has been a specific effort to provide more works by Black and African-American writers, authors, and speakers into Seminar.
Speeches and writings from influential African American movement leaders, include Martin Luther King Jr.'s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and On Christian Liberty, Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet,” and Nelson Mandela’s “I am Prepared to Die.” Another important step in diversifying Seminar readings was the inclusion of works by women of color. These works include Toni Morrison’s “Lecture and Speech,” Dana Johnson’s “Melvin in the 6th Grade,” and Maya Angelou’s “On the Pulse of Morning.”
This change in the required Seminar readings comes from a community demand for more opportunities for discussions of race and gender in Seminar. The Seminar website states, “focus on navigating difficult dialogues around race, gender and sexual orientation in Seminar classrooms.” In terms of the push for diversity in Informal Curriculum events, the Seminar website claims, “We will begin to develop a new series of Informal Curriculum events that highlight non-Western texts and perspectives.”
The Saint Mary’s community raised the issue of lack of diversity in the Seminar readings and in response, change is underway.
Madison Sciba '24,