Diversity in Teaching and Learning – National and International Approaches


Andrea Holland, UEA Need Not Apply: Examining Normative Approaches and Democratic Spaces in Academia

Claire Hynes, UEA

Do ‘universal’ experiences discussed in classes fit everyone’s reality? What (often deeply ingrained) norms and assumptions do we encounter in our classes and writing workshops?
Claudia Rankine writes of ‘a deficit of understanding inside a world that has thrown all its weight into shielding (us) from a reality that makes (our) reality possible?’ Rankine suggests we recognise differences in order to help ‘reroute’ any ‘biased structures girding our own academic and personal relationships’. Similarly, Fred D’Aguiar writes (in AWP) ‘Democratic spaces are all about diversity and inclusion. But diversity can be undermined by a minimalist devotion to meeting its requirements’. He suggests ‘writers in administrative roles may need instruction in how to examine biases and invigilate against them’. We ask what can we do, as educators, to counter bias and ‘normative’ approaches within our teaching and administrative roles at HEIs.

Andrea Holland is a Lecturer in creative writing and literature at UEA. She has two poetry collections, Broadcasting (Gatehouse Press, 2013), winner of the Norfolk Commission for Poetry, and Borrowed (Smith/Doorstop, 2007).

Claire Hynes is a tutor in literature and creative writing at the University of East Anglia. Her monologue, ‘Welcome To The Freak Show,’ was performed at The Contact Theatre (2016), her story, ‘Assorted Biscuits,’ is published in Tangled Roots Anthology (2015), and her story, ‘In Her Hair,’ is published in the Bath Short Story Award Anthology (2014). Claire contributes to publications including The Guardian, New Statesman and Mslexia.

Friday 7th July, 3.30