This site serves as an archive of blog posts and resources for ENGL 221: Multiculturalism: Race, Rhetoric, & Writing at Dickinson College. It provides a space for students to reflect on the texts we’ll be reading this semester, share comments and resources, and discuss the contexts that inform our literary texts. The site also houses a dynamic bibliography featuring a range of resources which students will develop collaboratively throughout the semester. We hope you’ll follow our blog, browse the bibliography, and join our conversation. If you have any questions about this website or the course, please contact Dr. Sheela Jane Menon at menons@dickinson.edu.


Multiculturalism is often celebrated as the ideal approach to managing racial, cultural, and religious differences within society. However, this concept has also been critiqued for the ways in which it masks systemic inequalities and deep-seated prejudices. Focusing on questions of race, power, and privilege, this course will examine narratives of multiculturalism in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia. Throughout the semester, we will read and respond to a diverse range of texts including: poetry, fiction, podcasts, interviews, essays, and OpEds. In addition to engaging these texts and contexts through ongoing class discussions, you will also develop your own arguments and analysis through a variety of writing assignments. These will include blog posts and comments, short formal essays, source summaries, and a final OpEd project.

This course aims to help you strengthen your writing, critical thinking, and analytical skills, thereby enabling you to understand how race and multiculturalism shape the lived experiences of communities (especially minority communities) around the world. Given this focus, this course requires especially thoughtful engagement with diverse and difficult points of view. Our classroom and this blog will be spaces in which you should feel challenged to reexamine your own thinking, while also helping to shape a vibrant and respectful dialogue.