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Code of Care

The students, faculty, and staff of the History of Art Department at OSU aspire to the following values, principles, and actions in our communal spaces, including classrooms, meetings, public lectures, and online forums.


  • As art historians, we often encounter and discuss difficult images, texts, and ideas. We aim to practice care in the way in which we present these materials, offering content warnings when appropriate.
  • Practicing care for each other means valuing diversity of race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability levels, national origin, and religion.
  • Practicing care within departmental spaces means acknowledging the implicit power imbalances within the roles of faculty, staff, and students, for example, title, rank, age, and/or ability. We strive towards these commitments, where learning and collaboration are not hierarchical, dialogue flows in multiple directions, and diverse identities and experiences are valued. 
  • We invite reflection on the land, resources, and displaced peoples of Ohio, and we strongly encourage members and visiting speakers to offer land acknowledgments.  


  • We aim for the materials in our classrooms, lectures, website, and communications to be accessible to all. We aim to follow the accessibility guidelines set out by Ohio State.
  • We encourage visiting instructors or speakers to consider issues of accessibility in their presentations.


  • Members of the history of art department aim to listen to each other, and are open to all kinds of feedback about our words and actions, including in person, in course evaluations, and in group settings.
  • We aim to practice non-defensive listening, and to listen especially to people from marginalized groups.
  • The work of creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive spaces is ongoing, and we aim to continue conversations about how to instill these principles in all areas of our teaching, learning, and research.


  • We aim to create a culture in our spaces where people feel comfortable speaking up about issues they feel are important or actions that need to be taken. 
  • We aim to speak up when we hear others use microaggressions or offensive language, in both digital and physical spaces.
  • As we navigate difficult issues, we acknowledge the important distinction between intent and impact.


The Committee for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice welcomes all members of our community to share feedback or experiences, without fear of retribution. We understand this to be a living document, and we commit to working on it and actively seeking out the feedback and experiences of department community members so that we know when we fall short. We plan to discuss and revise these principles in a way that reflects the feedback we have received, and we will build discussions of it into existing departmental structures such as faculty meetings (including concrete discussions of departmental culture at both the beginning and end of the academic year), the graduate teaching practicum, graduate town halls, and undergraduate advising.


To reflect on how each of us is putting these principles into action, we ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Who is the assumed audience of my teaching/speaking/advising? What might I need to adjust in my work and pedagogy to challenge these assumptions?
  • How am I upholding inequity and implicit bias as a scholar and educator? How can I develop a practice that emulates care and respect for all communities?
  • Am I working to create a curriculum and set of learning opportunities that value diversity, inclusion, and care?  Do I view my own learning as ongoing, both in terms of reading, learning, and listening about issues of diversity and inclusion but also in terms of broadening and diversifying my own scholarly expertise?
  • How can I be a better advocate for students, colleagues, and friends in our community, through taking things like mental health seriously? Am I aware of resources on campus, and do I build discussions of them into my teaching and mentorship?
  • In meetings, am I playing an active role in making space for all the voices in the room, practicing non-defensive listening, and actively caring about and for a diverse group of voices?
  • What have I done when I fall short of this code of care, either in the classroom, in meetings, or in dialogue? Did I follow up, reach out to colleagues, friends, or resources for advice, apologize when needed, and set intentions to do better in the future?