Dr. Natalie Grinnell

Reeves Family Professor in Humanities


Course Language Policy

My courses are centered around language: reading, writing and discussion are essential to literary study and the academic pursuit of knowledge. It is therefore particularly important to take care to avoid exclusionary language, both orally and in writing, in order to welcome and encourage participation by all students. In class and in written assignments, students will be required to use language that avoids sexism or assumes binary gender identifications. Inclusive language does not include racist, homophobic or ablist slurs and assumptions and strives to identify people in the way that they desire.

Because language is always changing, we will need to encourage one another to preserve the classroom as a welcoming space, and I will call attention to exclusionary language when it appears, either aloud or in writing. This habit, choosing words carefully and thoughtfully, will enhance the courtesy and professionalism of your academic work.


Part of avoiding exclusionary language is using the pronouns that a person or persons identify as expressing their gender. I identify as a cisgender female and use the pronouns she/her/hers. While you are not required to share your pronouns with me or the class, you are welcome to do so, and the class will be expected, as a matter of courtesy, to use the pronouns you provide. You may also wish to use the “Update Preferred Name” link on the student section of MyWofford to update your name on official course rolls. Please note that the singular they/them/their is acceptable in formal writing assignments for this course.