Natalie Delia Deckard, Jane KuA new Interdisciplinary and Critical Studies Department will shape higher education in Windsor-Essex, say proponent Natalie Delia Deckard and head Jane Ku.

New department poised to support region’s “working-class cosmopolitanism”

The University of Windsor Senate has approved the creation of a new Interdisciplinary and Critical Studies Department within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.

It will propel growth in Women and Gender Studies, Latin American Studies, Disability Studies, Labour Studies, and Black Studies programs as it finds new ways to shape higher education in Windsor-Essex.

The initiative’s leader, Natalie Delia Deckard, says the new department makes it possible to think about disciplines as diverse as the law, accounting, and medicine from multiple points of view — including those sometimes made invisible.

“The future of the humanities is at the University Windsor,” Dr. Deckard says.

“By claiming our region’s working-class cosmopolitan identity, the University is uniquely positioned to write the story of thriving together across difference. We are now able to give our students real-world footing to accompany their professional training and serve as a base for the community to have a voice in the ivory tower.”

Incoming department head Jane Ku credits the commitment to collaboration among senior administration, dean Cheryl Collier, and campus supporters in bringing the department to fruition.

“The University student body is reflective of the greater Windsor community and incorporates women, descendants of Freedom Seekers on the historic Underground Railroad, people with different abilities, racialized Black and Latin American people, members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, union members and labour activists,” Dr. Ku says. “With Interdisciplinary and Critical Studies, we’re finally able to incorporate the needs, perspectives, and histories that are vibrantly represented in Windsor-Essex.”

UWindsor president Robert Gordon says the University continues to look for new ways to promote equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization in teaching, research, employment, student recruitment, retention, and success.

“The University of Windsor is affirming its commitment to challenge and dismantle systemic oppression,” he says. “A truly inclusive future begins with our actions and choices today.”

More information on UWindsor Equity, Diversity & Inclusion initiatives is available here.