Department of Cinema and Media Studies

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement


In Cinema and Media Studies, the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion are vital to the pursuit of our broader academic mission. We believe that our future success depends on strengthening faculty and student diversity. Crucial to this is the promotion of equity, defined as fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all. Of equal importance is inclusion, defined as the creation of welcoming, respectful, and supportive learning and work environments.

Our disciplines depend in the most fundamental way on the study of diverse literatures, cinemas and media, in languages and from cultures from across the globe. Much of what we study address the ongoing tensions between structures of power and social groups that seek greater equity and representation.
The following is meant as a living document, a brief summary of our ongoing efforts and commitments to prioritize issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Cinema and Media

The Department of Cinema and Media Studies recently secured a stand-alone major and graduate program. From the program’s inception we have maintained a strong curriculum in the theoretical, analytical, and historical approaches of film and television genres in a global setting. Our core and adjunct faculty include specialists in Asian, European, North American, and transnational cinema and media. Moreover, our faculty research, scholarship, and teaching are invested in questions of representation of class, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and ability across cinema, television, and digital media.

The Department of Cinema and Media Studies offers courses that fulfill UW’s Diversity (DIV) requirement for undergraduates, including CMS 275: Perspectives on Visual Culture: Sex, Race and Power, CMS 321: Oppositional Cinema/Media and CMS 322: Race, Representation, and Television.  

Comparative Literature

Departments of comparative literature have traditionally tended to emphasize the contributions to universal culture of the philosophies and literatures of Western Europe, but in recent decades this primary focus has been expanded through the study of world literatures, bringing new scholars, new students and new readers to traditional comparative literature.

Next Steps

We have successfully achieved several of our previous goals originally proposed in 2016, including creating courses that meet the University’s diversity (DIV) general education goal, adopting best practices for diversity hiring and faculty recruitment, and regular meetings to discuss and assess our departmental efforts and plans regarding diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition to those ongoing efforts, we commit ourselves to

  • offering Diversity (DIV) courses every academic quarter and increasing the number of DIV courses taught in the department.
  • asking that faculty strengthen the anti-cisheteropatriarchy components of their courses. This may include inviting guest speakers to courses.
  • hosting annual (or more frequent) events, including visiting speakers, colloquia, and symposia, that address historic and contemporary inequities, structures of power, and marginality.
  • screening the work of female, queer, minority, and nonwestern filmmakers in CMS classes and at CMS-sponsored campus events.
  • asking that faculty assess their contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of annual merit review.
  • continuing to recruit, mentor and retain members of underrepresented U.S. minority groups to our faculty and student body.
  • working with the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement and continue to consult with the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program.
  • continuing to implement the recommendations of the Class C Senate “Resolution Concerning Equity, Access and Inclusion in Hiring” (adopted January 29, 2015), including the UW Advance initiative on interrupting bias in the search process, as well as the tool kit on best hiring practices recently published by the Office of Faculty Advancement.
  • implementing workshops and training offered by UW on diversity, equity, and inclusion. • assessing our progress at regular intervals; we commit ourselves to revisiting and updating this diversity statement on an annual basis.

Last updated: 8 May 2020

Some Diversity Resources at the University of Washington

Diversity at the University of Washington
DIV requirement for undergraduates
UW Campus Diversity Resources
Office of Minority Affairs
Disability Resources for Students
Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program
Q Center
Women's Center

CMS Diversity Statement 2020 (PDF)