Kick-Off Book Fair: Writing Resources for an Equitable and Socially Just World

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Noon - 2 p.m.

UMB Writing Center, room 307, SMC Campus Center

Virtually on Zoom: Click here to join

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books on shelvesThe UMB Writing Center is hosting an in-person and virtual book and resources fair for students, staff, and faculty. Our book fair will display curated titles on writing and communication, including science communication and writing related to human services disciplines, that continue to inform our equity-based and social-justice focused consultation practice in the Writing Center.

We are accepting requests for copies of books at no cost to selected students. 

Request a free book

Check out other UMB Fall Kick-Off events!

Featured Books

Our consultants and staff reviewed books this summer in two categories: style manuals/guides, and works of interest related to socially just and equitable writing practices. Browse our virtual bookshelf below, and read about how our consultants think these books could aid writers at UMB. If you see a book you need, fill out a request form here!

book cover: Building Narrative Power

Building Narrative Power for Racial Justice and Health Equity

This report is the culmination of a two day convention which brought together race theorists, academicians, health practitioners, activists, community organizers and people from the media to ask the right questions and formulate effective solutions to the problem health inequity along racial fault lines dividing the society, especially in the context of recent political upheaval. The report explicitly defines how public narratives work against non-white populations devaluing their humanity, enforcing non-white stereotypes and most important of all, shaping the behavior of the people against each other. This can result in biased caregiving and the coloring of medical research as scientific research is twisted to build a narrative which superficializes the root cause behind public health concerns. The report also explores how narratives can also help advance health equity. Social and political determinants of quality of health are especially avoided by scientists who model their answers solely behind biomedical logic. The report highlights the importance of acknowledging and actively looking for evidence of structural racism because problems with roots deep into the society are harder to dig out without the right “shovel”. The report also explores intersectional categories in which people can face inequalities in multiple ways. Lastly, the report discusses how changes in narratives and the modality of such counter-narratives can help battle structural inequalities. The main themes and narrative cornerstones around which racially biased narratives have been built and also around which counternarratives can be built are highlighted and discussed. The challenges and opportunities that will be faced by people working towards this change are also explored.In conclusion, the report lays the groundwork for conversations and strategies meant to bring about a shift in cultural consciousness which leads to a better understanding of health problems that plague communities and the long term solutions for the same. - Parth

Cover of book, Performing antiracist pedagogy

Performing Antiracist Pedagogy in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communication

This book is written primarily for faculty across disciplines teaching writing – to learn from similarly situated colleagues how to address race in their classrooms, adopt antiracist commitments, and take action striving for racial justice. There are three sections with a total of ten essays. The first section focuses on actionable commitments for engaging with antiracism within and beyond writing classrooms. More specifically, one essay discusses engaging in self-work and work-with-others, creating accountability for change. Action is needed along with narratives about individuals’ experiences with racism. Another essay is written by a white professor teaching a course on African American discourse. Additionally, one essay advocates for critical race theory counterstory as a narrative method used in research to center racism and the experiences of marginalized people, told by marginalized people themselves. Finally in Section 1, an essay outlines ways to reframe race in teaching writing across the curriculum – by discussing race locally rather than making broad generalizations; understanding the expectations of teachers and students regarding writing and how stereotypes may impact teaching and learning; and connecting language and race. Section 2 focuses on identity. Two essays highlight white privilege and whiteliness – a worldview regardless of skin color often embodied by teachers – and antiracist approaches that emphasize multiculturalism rather than colorblind ideologies. A third essay illustrates a Black woman’s fears and struggles in the academy. Section 3 includes methods for interrogating race in the classroom, for example through student narrative assignments, analyzing hip-hop lyrics, and playwriting. Overall, this book calls teachers to embed antiracist commitments in their teaching of writing. - Rebekah

Cover of book, Heart of Science Communication

Getting to the Heart of Science Communication: A Guide to Effective Engagement

 

Kearns (2021) centers around redefining the role of science communication and engagement (SCE), defined by the author as a broad concept that can span from outreach and community engagement to public scholarship, in an ever-evolving, dynamic world. The narratives described help the reader introspect beyond just the “what” of SCE into the role of “who” it serves and benefits. Themes of social justice-centered communication, equity, trauma, ethics, power struggles, and accountability reverberate. In Part 1, Kearns discusses how context matters in SCE, given the many contentious issues faced in this country today. Simply delivering SCE messages from elite scientist to elite scientist can be inadequate and dangerous to those on the other side of the power struggle who want to do the important work and yet are often excluded from the conversation. Part 1 goes on to question the SCE training graduate students receive when the power is held by the few who may be tenured. Part 2 describes how relating to others, listening, working with conflict, and understanding trauma are the tools of science communication. Building relationships with experts outside the field of SCE and listening responsibly to these experts and the community we serve can augment ethical work and accountability. Engaging with conflict non-defensively and understanding that it can be derived from interpersonal and systemic factors, distinguishes what is about communication and what is about power. Part 3 evaluates the role of the identity of SCE practitioners to help avoid the misguided attempts at inclusion in the community, and goes on to emphasize the importance of regenerative self-care while doing this important work. - Rupini

 

 

Cover of book, Lived Experiences of Graduate Student Writers

Learning From the Lived Experiences of Graduate Student Writers

 

Learning From the Lived Experiences of Graduate Student Writers (2020) is written for faculty and university staff who want to be supportive mentors to graduate student writers. The book foregrounds student and mentor voices in order to both illuminate and counteract the often-traumatic experience of marginalized students writing in the academy—that is, an experience of epistemic injustice, or an erasure and dismissal of a person’s knowledge and literacies. In Part 1, narratives by Black, Latinx, multilingual, and “international” students and mentors show how graduate writing is personal and vulnerable: connected to “your identity, the issues and questions you care about, and the way you express yourself” (11). In Part 2, Lockett and Cuellar identify key themes from the narratives, centering around questions of we assume we mean when we talk about “supporting students” and “academic voice.” In Part 3, evidence-based research studies offer data and frameworks for community mentoring models and equtiable support practices for graduate writing mentors in different contexts. The question the book poses to mentors is: “How can we as writing mentors encourage, foster, and value a range of discursive possibilities within a system that explicitly values only a limited set of linguistic expressions?” (15). As a writing consultant, I found the narratives of writers’ lived experiences invaluable because they remind me what the point of writing consultation is all about: “how to help writers orient the audience without colonizing their own writerly voices and discourses” (14). - Hannah

 

book cover of Advancing health equity

Advancing Health Equity: A Guide to Language, Narrative, and Concepts

Why do health equity and narratives based in the concept matter? The AMA-AAMC Guide on Health Equity aims to address that question by offering language that promotes health equity, exploring the true power behind the words used in any given context, and providing a glossary of terms. It takes into account the ever-changing landscape of the US by addressing COVID-19’s impact on marginalized communities, racial justice, and how dominant (malignant) narratives can harm the advancement of health equity. This guide delves into the narrative ecosystem, arguing that we are most impactful when our stories and messages align with the narratives we want to elevate. Part 1 outlines key principles and terms of language for promoting health inequity, contrasting said terms with those used in the past or frequently used today. Among these principles are avoiding the use of adjectives like “vulnerable” and “high-risk”, the use of terms with violent connotation, dehumanizing language, unintentional blaming, and acknowledging multiple subpopulations. In Part 2, this guide further advocates for a shift in the narrative from traditional biomedical focus on the individual presenting with a health problem to a “health equity focus on the well-being of communities as shaped by social and structural drivers.” The guide first and foremost acknowledges that people are not vulnerable, but are made vulnerable by the systems in place. Equity-focused language is more impactful because it acknowledges the root causes of inequities, and holds the dominant narratives responsible, accountable. Lastly, Part 3 provides the audience with a glossary of key terms used in health equity discussions. This is a valuable guide for anyone interested in doing the public health and social justice work involved in advocating for health equity across the board. - Rupini

logo of the radical copyeditor

The Radical Copyeditor’s Style Guide for Writing About Transgender People

 

“Language can harm or heal; it can further oppression or create liberation—the choice is ours.”

This 13-page radical copyeditor’s style guide focuses on context and care surrounding language usage about transgender people, rather than enforcing absolute rules. It acknowledges that language changes frequently, and trans people have fought for the right to describe themselves in their own language. It contains three sections that provide guidance on “current usage of transgender-related language,” “bias-free and respectful language,” and “sensitive and inclusive broader language.” Section 1 includes guidance about using the term transgender with examples. Section 2 describes various ways to speak about transgender people with respect. Specifically, there are guidelines for talking, or not talking, about someone’s birth-assigned sex, using correct pronouns, being sensitive about anatomy-related language, and not referring to being transgender as a medical condition. Additionally, the guidelines emphasize the importance of culture-specific language, inclusive language – e.g. trans women are women, trans men are men – and the distinction between trans and intersex populations. Section 3 provides guidance for using broader language, specifically using the singular they (not he/she or his/her) when speaking in general, validating queer as a sexual orientation, and acknowledging that anatomy is different from identity. Finally, the style guide concludes by emphasizing that when writing about transgender people, writers should make every effort to ask people how they should be referred to and build relationships with trans people to gain multiple perspectives and feedback on their language use. - Rebekah

 

book cover, elements of indigenous style

Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples

 

Book cover, antiracist writing center ecologies

Antiracist writing assessment ecologies: Teaching and assessing writing for a socially just future

 

book cover, linguistic justice

Linguistic justice: Black language, literacy, identity, and pedagogy

Baker-Bell, A. (2020). Linguistic justice: Black language, literacy, identity, and pedagogy. Routledge.