even this acknowledgement is an incomplete document as we work to fill the gaps about the history of this land
Language adapted from the UNC Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Asian American Center, in consultation with the DEI.
The Department of English and Comparative Literature recognizes the land and sovereignty of Native and Indigenous nations in Chapel Hill, in North Carolina, in North America, and across the world. We acknowledge that UNC’s land history includes a dispossession of people who first lived here, a dispossession that profited the University at the expense of sovereign indigenous nations.
The University of North Carolina sits on the land of the Occaneechi, Shakori, Eno, and Sissipahaw peoples. Additionally, NC has been home to many Indigenous peoples at various points in time, including the tribes/nations of: Bear River/Bay River, Cape Fear, Catawba, Chowanoke, Coree/Coranine, Creek, Croatan, Eno, Hatteras, Keyauwee, Machapunga, Moratoc, Natchez, Neusiok, Pamlico, Shakori, Sara/Cheraw, Sissipahaw, Sugeree, Wateree, Weapemeoc, Woccon, Yadkin, and Yeopim. Today, NC recognizes 8 tribes: Coharie, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Saponi, Haliwa Saponi, Waccamaw Siouan, Sappony, and the Eastern Band Cherokee. The state is also home to Indigenous nations from Abiayala that among others include: Maya Q’anjob’al, K’iche’, Awakateco, and Mam, Zapotec and Otomi. UNC Chapel Hill is an institution built by enslaved Africans and their enslaved descendants, and our institution did not admit Black students until 1955. Today, Black individuals and People of Color disproportionately work as service staff on our campus and in our wider society. This community is largely responsible for the maintenance on our campus, the food and food service available to us at Chapel Hill, and many other basic necessities that make our gatherings possible.
As members of the faculty of the Department of English and Comparative Literature, we write to express our alarm about the recent denial of tenure of Nikole Hannah-Jones for an endowed Knight professorship at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media.
Asian American Center Director Dr. Heidi Kim on March 16 shootings in Atlanta. It gives me great sorrow to write to all of you again about anti-Asian violence, but I wanted to reach out in the wake of last night’s shootings.
George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, Akiel Denkins…And too many more. A movement powered by generations that include our own students and alums- the Black Lives Matter Movement- has taken up the call. The Department of English & Comparative Literature supports the movement for Black lives.
The Department of English & Comparative Literature fully endorses the statement composed by the council of chairs of the College of Arts and Sciences of UNC Chapel Hill.
The Faculty of the Department of English and Comparative Literature pledge through our teaching, research, and public service to continue the hard work of rooting out racism and inequality and to replace them with “light and liberty,” the motto of our university.
On Monday August 20, 2018, the Confederate monument known as Silent Sam was toppled to the ground. ECL faculty to respond to this historic moment.