I am writing on behalf of the English department to express our grief and outrage at the recent shootings in and around Atlanta. Members of the English department faculty met on the day after the attacks to reflect on the anti-Asian racism, misogyny, violence, gun culture, and devaluation of precarious lives that have shaken the Atlanta community and that reflect a systemic pattern of increasing violence directed toward marginalized and vulnerable communities in this country. In the coming days and weeks, we hope to find meaningful ways to involve our students in these discussions as well. Because we study how discourses and cultural representations shape our lived experiences (and vice versa), we can both analyze the narratives emerging around the events and work to amplify the voices of communities that are too often unheard.
As a starter, here is a link to a thoughtful article in today’s New York Times that sets the tragedy of this week’s shootings in the context of the growth and political organizing of the Asian American community in Georgia.
With hopes for better times ahead —
Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor
Chair, Department of English
breiss [at] emory [dot] edu