Statement on Equality and Inclusion

Equality and Inclusion

By Matt Bucher, President, International David Foster Wallace Society

Anyone who has participated in any sort of online discussion about David Foster Wallace and his writing will have noticed that most of the participants are white males. Let’s start this discussion there and say that we acknowledge that the small-but-burgeoning field of DFW Studies is not bursting with diversity. A glance at the list of Board members of our Society is no different—for now.

We strive to change this, even incrementally, for the better. Our goal is to be among the most diverse, most inclusive literary societies in the world. Our group, not yet two months old, consists of people from around the world (ten nations represented so far) of varying backgrounds. We have a large percentage of non-academics and non-traditional scholars representing a diverse ideological spectrum.

Here are a few things we are doing to improve the equality and diversity of the board, the journal, and the Society as a whole:

  • We are actively seeking a Diversity Outreach coordinator to serve as a liaison between the Board of the International DFW Society and the rest of the community. If you are interested in this role or know someone who might be, please reach out to us at diversity@dfwsociety.org
  • At our first ALA conference this year in Boston, we are sponsoring a panel on Wallace and Gender. In 2018, we are also sponsoring an ALA panel on Wallace, Race, and Intersectionality. More info here: https://www.dfwsociety.org/2017/02/07/1718/
  • Our peer-reviewed journal is seeking scholarly papers dedicated to exploring themes of race, gender, sexuality, and diversity in Wallace’s work. More info here: https://www.dfwsociety.org/call-for-papers/

We want to hear from you. How should we address the issues of diversity, inclusion, equality, race, gender, and representation surrounding Wallace’s work? Email us at diversity@dfwsociety.org or contact us on Twitter @DFWSociety. We are listening.

This is just the beginning. I am proud of the team of volunteers we have assembled so far and they are all committed to building a more diverse, inclusive, and intersectional society. We are structuring this organization as a non-profit so that it is capable of doing more good for the greater community.

I want to thank Jenni Baker, Josh Roiland, Danielle Ely and everyone who has reached out to offer advice and guidance to us on this important issue.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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