Building Curricular Diversity through a “Social Movement”: How Faculty Networks Support Institutional Change


  • Mary Armstrong Lafayette College
  • Hannah W. Stewart-Gambino Lafayette College


higher education, Diversity, curricular infusion




This essay offers an innovative model for effectively infusing diversity across a higher education curriculum. We explore the benefits of reconceptualizing infusion efforts as “social movements” in order to highlight the importance of structural power relationships and deliberate network-formation in affecting change on any individual campus. We contend that the work of infusing diversity across the curriculum is driven by disciplinary cultures and institutional structures that shape individual faculty curricular choices. Using a recent Teagle Foundation-supported, faculty-led initiative directed at promoting diversity across the curriculum at Lafayette College, we show that the use of a social movement frame for promoting curricular diversity not only can transform curricular cultures across the disciplines by establishing new faculty networks but also strengthen momentum for supporting future institutional change.  We further offer suggestions for successfully applying this social movement framework in praxis.


Author Biographies

Mary Armstrong, Lafayette College

Women's and Gender Studies, Director

English, Associate Professor

Hannah W. Stewart-Gambino, Lafayette College

International Affairs and Government and Law