Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia
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Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia

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Presumed Incompetent is a path-breaking account of the intersecting roles of race, gender, and class in the working lives of women faculty of color. ...

Presumed Incompetent is a path-breaking account of the intersecting roles of race, gender, and class in the working lives of women faculty of color. http://www.amazon.com/Presumed-Incompetent-Intersections-Class-Academia/dp/0874219221

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    Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia Presentation Transcript

    • Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia Edited by: Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs Yolanda Flores Niemann Carmen G. González Angela P. Harris Utah State University Press, 2012
    • Presumed Incompetent: Introduction Angela Harris, Professor of Law, University of California, Davis School of Law and Carmen G. González, Professor of Law, Seattle University School of Law ―The women of color who have managed to enter the rarefied halls of academe as full-time faculty find themselves in a peculiar situation. Despite their undeniable privilege, women of color faculty members are entrenched in byzantine patterns of race, gender, and class hierarchy that confound popular narratives about meritocracy."
    • Essay: "No hay mal que por bien no venga": A Journey to Healing as a Latina, Lesbian Law Professor Elvia R. Arriola, Professor of Law, Northern Illinois University "In modern society, witch hunts and burnings do not take the medieval European form, when thousands of women who defied male supremacist systems of power were burned or hanged. However, they still take place. Anyone who has been involved in or witnessed the politics of tenure at a university understands well that metaphoric burnings at the stake are common. Women of color are frequent outsiders whose identities have been brightly burned at the stake of academic politics."
    • Essay: Present and Unequal: A Third Wave Approach to Voice Parallel Experiences in Managing Oppression and Bias in the Academy Kimberly Moffitt, Assistant Professor of American Studies, University of Maryland ―Most participants believed the marginal status of women academics of color meant the academy was not a conducive environment for encouraging and bolstering others who shared their phenotype. In fact, they found the academy oppressive and feared minority women who wanted to be teachers might choose another career or be forced to leave the academy.‖
    • Essay: African American Women in the Academy: Quelling the Myth of Presumed Incompetence Sherri L. Wallace, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Louisville Sharon E. Moore, Professor of Social Work, Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville Linda L. Wilson, Associate Director for Administration and Programming, Asian Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Louisville Brenda G. Hart, Professor of Engineering and Director of Student Affairs, J.B. Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville ―Because they are viewed as the product of targeted initiatives, which generate unworthy, handout attitudes, they fall victim to societal perceptions that they are incompetent—defined as lacking ability, unskilled, amateurish, and/or inept—by students, staff, colleagues, and administrators in the academy. These women are continually challenged to prove that they do not have their job—or will be kept in their job—because of affirmative action, opportunity hiring, and/or tokenism. . . .‖
    • Essay: On Being Special Serena Easton, Assistant Professor of Sociology "It turned out that the students at the university actually did think I was ‗special‘ -- the way that people label learningdisabled children that way. In the eyes of these wealthy, white eighteen-year-olds, I couldn't possibly be educated, qualified, or smart enough to be a teaching assistant. I was this northerner, this girl only a few years older than them, this large black woman who evoked a mammy image and reminded them of their nannies and maids who worked back home in their large houses ensconced in wellmanicured subdivisions."
    • Essay: Igualadas Francisco de la Riva-Holly, Professor of Ethnic Studies "What has been most interesting about my experience at this small private university is that the Latin@s involved (mostly Latin American upper-middle and upper-class people, as well as upper class Spaniards) turned the stereotypes that had been used against them toward me, validating the voice of mainstream racism and classism, as well as Hollywood portrayals of Chicanos as troublemakers."
    • Essay: Black/Out: The White Face of Multiculturalism and the Violence of the Canadian Imperial Project Delia D. Douglas, Canadian independent scholar, Vancouver, British Columbia ―After I had completed my PhD, a white male friend in the U.S. told me that owing to the implementation of affirmative action policies his employment opportunities were severely limited… It has been 14 years since that conversation and the aforementioned friend is now an associate professor while I have yet to secure a tenure track position.‖
    • Essay: La Lucha: Latinas Surviving Political Science Jessica Lavariega Monforti, Assistant Dean, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Associate Professor of Political Science, The University of Texas - Pan American ―The focus of this research is on the experiences of Latinas in political science as graduate students and faculty members. This work provides a serious wake-up call for those who laud the increasing numbers of Latinos in political science without recognizing the oftentimes harsh reality Latinas face in the profession.‖
    • Essay: A Prostitute, a Servant, and a Customer Service Representative: A Latina in Academia Carmen R. Lugo-Lugo, Associate Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies Washington State University ―Ethnic studies does not hide behind the veil of objectivity, and in fact, to be effective, it has to advocate and strive for a fundamental transformation of race relations. Stating that there is inequality is not enough. And here is where I come in: I am a Latina telling my mostly white students that racism, discrimination, and inequality still exist and affect all our lives (theirs included), both in ways that can be measured and ones that cannot.‖
    • Essay: Stepping in and Stepping out: Examining the Way Anticipatory Career Socialization Impacts Identity Negotiation of African American Women in Academia Cerise L. Glenn, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of North Carolina, Greensboro "In addition to receiving responses from those inside academic institutions that African American women do not belong in our respective fields in academia as we obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees and begin interviewing for positions, these messages also come from our families, peer groups, and communities. Instead of challenging our intelligence and potential to achieve, this feedback focuses on what we may lose by pursuing academic careers. As we decide to enter the realm of occupations that earn higher wages, we will be stepping outside of the safe spaces that help us resist negative notions of our identity."
    • Essay: The Port Hueneme of My Mind: The Geography of WorkingClass Consciousness in One Academic Career Constance G. Anthony, Associate Professor of Political Science, Seattle University Class position follows you throughout adult life, unless your family of origin also moves up to the middle class or the earning power of your spouse surpasses that of the average academic. Workingclass adults are not going to inherit income from their families, and, as a consequence, retirement savings are much more important. Academic careers and income are a problem for everyone who is not independently wealthy, but for the working-class academic, being a faculty member is a life-long material challenge.
    • Tenure and Promotion: Introduction Deena J. González, Associate Provost, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles ―Women of color -- guest workers, as so many conceptualize their positions and work -- offer a unique and daring perspective. We watch as Sonia Sotomayor must "regret" her wise, womanly remark, feeling aghast as well at what it takes to get the job done. We've all done it ourselves -- in small, less public forums, or in loud, recorded moments where the only outcome is vilification, misunderstanding, and migration (to another institution).‖
    • Essay: Silence of the Lambs Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Charles M. and Marion J. Kierscht Professor of Law, University of Iowa "How then can women of color, especially those from poor or working-class backgrounds, draw the line between following advice for survival and resisting their own subjugation--between balancing the identity-affirming conduct that maintains their voices and the identity-negating conduct of remaining silent?"
    • Essay: Lessons from a Portrait: Keep Calm and Carry On Adrien Katherine Wing, Bessie Dutton Murray Professor of Law, University of Iowa ―My advice to my sisters when the bombs are dropping—literally or figuratively—is to [follow the British saying]—keep calm and carry on. I have unknowingly tried to pursue this motto over the years in all the areas that affect us as teachers, scholars and service providers as well as on the personal level.‖
    • Essay: They Forgot Mammy Had a Brain Sherree Wilson, Associate Dean, Cultural Affairs & Diversity Initiatives University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine "While hiring a critical mass of faculty of color to avoid placing one of them in solo status is recommended to facilitate their retention, the fact that a campus or department is ethnically and racially diverse in number doesn't necessarily translate into an environment that is positive for faculty of color. "
    • Essay: Are Student Teaching Evaluations Holding Back Women and Minorities?: The Perils of “Doing” Gender and Race in the Classroom Sylvia Lazos, Justice Myron Leavitt Professor of Law, University of Las Vegas, Nevada ―In sum, minority professors must negotiate many more burdens than non-minority professors from the first moment that they walk into the classroom. These additional burdens and potential risks are difficult to navigate even for the most experienced professor; but the risks are higher and the penalties even heavier for newly minted assistant professor who must also master new material, learn to teach effectively, and get a productive research agenda on track. New minority professors start their careers with a significant handicap.‖
    • Essay: Visibly Invisible: The Burden of Race and Gender for Female Students of Color Striving for an Academic Career in the Sciences Deirdre Bowen, Associate Professor, Seattle University School of Law "Neither gender, nor ethnicity, nor class allows for a one-size-fits-all approach. But if we are to truly change the nature of the field, mentors must think carefully about the way they engage female students of color so they no longer remain visibly invisible. Perhaps we should work to develop programs that better train professors in the art and science of effective mentorship for all students, not just the ones they see when they look in the mirror."
    • Essay: Working Across Racial Lines in a Not-So-Post-Racial World Margalynne J. Armstrong, Associate Professor of Law, and Associate Academic Director of the Center for Social Justice and Public Service, Santa Clara University & Stephanie M. Wildman, Professor of Law, and Director of the Center for Social Justice and Public Service, Santa Clara University "The existence of presumed incompetence that affects both women of color and white women should provide a basis for deeper understanding, sisterhood, and alliance among women and enable work across racial lines to combat the presumption as well as other professional issues. But women can only forge that bond by acknowledging—rather than ignoring—the differences in the presumption‘s operation. Systems of privilege operate through multiple identity categories and affect a professor‘s institutional presence and possibilities."
    • Essay: Waking Up to Privilege: Intersectionality and Opportunity Stephanie A. Shields, Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies, Pennsylvania State University ―A metaphor best expresses the way my understanding of white privilege has operated and changed over the years. I think of white privilege as lighting my path of professional development. Over the course of forty years of academic life, I have come to see how this light made travel over the rocky and difficult road possible, how it lighted up opportunities at many critical junctions, and how it blinded me to what was just outside my own experience.‖
    • Essay: Where‟s the Violence? The Promise and Perils of Teaching Women of Color Studies Grace Chang, Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara "White, Western feminist discourses constructing women of color as more oppressed, exploited, and helpless than white, Western women . . . imply the need for women of color to be saved, presumably of course by white, Western men and women, as individuals or representatives of their governments. This serves to distract Western women from their struggles against their oppressors and blinds them to their complicity in oppressing others."
    • Essay: What‟s Love Got to Do with It?: Life Teachings from Multiracial Feminism Kari Lerum, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington "Scholars such as Audre Lorde, Patricia Hill Collins, bell hooks, Gloria Anzaldúa, Suzanne Pharr, and Shane Phelan have long inspired me; they are the ones who gave me the courage to teach about intersectional oppression to begin with. They also warned me about the dangers of sweeping claims about women, feminists, and lesbians and the need to stay vigilant about multiple and intersecting forms of oppression. Despite the fact that I already knew these things, my personal experiences have made these lessons stick."
    • Essay: Notes toward Racial and Gender Justice Ally Practice in Academia Dean Spade, Associate Professor, Seattle University School of Law "There are many structural obstacles to working as a white ally in struggles for racial justice in legal academia. The pressures of professionalism promote silence and assent, perhaps especially in untenured professors. The white cultural norms that shape academic institutions -hierarchy, individualism, competition, scarcity -encourage us not to act as allies, not to endure the risks of taking unpopular action by naming oppression in our academic work or professional interactions with students, faculty, and staff. . . However, a central tenet of this work is recognizing the opportunities that privilege provides to disrupt the creation of that privilege and the obligation to take action."
    • Essay: On Community in the Midst of Hierarchy (and Hierarchy in the Midst of Community Ruth Gordon, Professor of Law, Villanova University School of Law "Many of us spend our professional lives contesting hierarchy and exclusion -- whether on the basis of race, gender, or class -- but when it comes to academia -- and I would suggest especially legal academia -- we appear to have finally found a hierarchy we can believe in. It not only goes unquestioned but is often at the core of our complaint. Thus, Professors Merritt and Reskin's excellent study focuses on access by white women and people of color of both genders to the sixteen most prestigious law schools. But most of us, regardless of gender, race, or class, do not teach at those schools, nor do most of the law students in this country attend them."
    • Essay: Free at Last! No More Performance Anxieties in the Academy „cause Stepin Fetchit Has Left the Building Mary-Antoinette Smith, Associate Professor of English, and Director of Women’s Studies, Seattle University ―In spite of the occasional difficulties that have surfaced throughout my journey to professional success in the ivory tower—I maintain a positive and hopeful outlook for myself and other faculty of color in our pursuits of achievements within the academy. . . . I am realistic and sensitive [however] to the reality that my positive perspective is juxtaposed against troubling and pervasive statistics on the possibility that faculty of color, particularly women, can integrate affirmatively, substantially, and successfully into a congenial, scholarly, working environment in the academy.‖
    • Essay: Reflections of an Academic "Misfit" Kelly Ervin, Senior Research Psychologist, U.S. Army Research Institute "As I think about the comparison between my experience in the academy as a full-time assistant professor and my current situation as a civilian in a military environment, I've come to the conclusion that there is no comparison . . . . because those of us who work for the army benefit from advances that the government has made in workforce diversity and establishing an environment where rank, command experience, and the ability to complete a mission are what is respected and valued, regardless of your ethnicity."
    • Essay: Dis/Jointed Appointments: Solidarity amidst Inequity, Tokenism, and Marginalization May C. Fu, Assistant Professor, Departments of Ethnic Studies and History, Colorado State University "It is ironic that as scholars invested in equity issues for disenfranchised groups, we are so poorly valued for our work. We are neither supported nor rewarded for our engaged-activist scholarship, yet the university benefits from our engagement, activism, and scholarship. When we ask that our labor be honored in ways that are reflected in annual evaluations or tenure and promotion, it is telling to observe the strategies the administration uses not only to deny our requests but also to frame their justifications in ways that divide faculty interests and potential solidarities."
    • Essay: Dis/Jointed Appointments: Solidarity amidst Inequity, Tokenism, and Marginalization Roe Bubar, Associate Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies and School of Social Work, Colorado State University "It is also ironic that many of us as womyn of color have strategic, organizing, mediation, and research skills related to equity, allocation of resources, power, and structural racism/sexism; yet seldom do we put those skills into practice in collective ways to address gender inequity and retention of womyn of color within the academy. We create circles of support for students and others, yet our isolation within the academy keeps us from creating that same support for ourselves as a collective."
    • Essay: Dis/Jointed Appointments: Solidarity amidst Inequity, Tokenism, and Marginalization Michelle A. Holling, Associate Professor, Department of Communications, California State University, San Marcos ― Structural disempowerment is an integral part of the process . . . . We accepted joint appointments for utilitarian reasons, to achieve synergy in our intellectual interests, and/or to transcend the limitations of disciplinary boundaries. As we recognized their reality, particularly our structural disempowerment as womyn of color, we experienced resentment, discouragement, and resignation.‖
    • Essay: Navigating the Academic Terrain: The Racial and Gender Politics of Elusive Belonging Linda Trinh Võ, Associate Professor, Department of Asian American Studies University of California, Irvine "As a democratic society, we are grappling with how to ensure that access, allocation, and distribution of limited resources are equitable, and these struggles over scarce resources are mirrored in the universities where we work."
    • Essay: Sharing our Gifts Beth Boyd, Professor of Psychology, University of South Dakota ―We have to learn how to deal with turmoil without getting changed by it. We have to remember why we are doing this work, develop a vision for ourselves . . Success means helping our people, connecting to others, being real, and making things better for our families and communities. It is essential to find a way to integrate that definition into the work that we do – otherwise we do run the risk of losing ourselves in the work for reasons we do not fully understand.‖
    • Essay: Present and Unequal: A Third Wave Approach to Voice Parallel Experiences in Managing Oppression and Bias in the Academy Diane Forbes Berthoud, Professor of Organization Communication, University of California, San Diego "What we propose is a more expansive and integrated approach to feminism in this third-wave generation that acknowledges our diversity and the complexity of connectedness with other women...What has been shared here exhibits and broadens the tenets of third-wave feminism in profound ways. These women‘s stories come together to create a means of thinking, understanding, and negotiating their interlocking identities and ...oppression."
    • Essay: Native Women Maintaining Their Culture in the White Academy Michelle M. Jacob, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of San Diego ―The academy will be a better, healthier place if we (1) continue to actively build collectives and openly discuss challenges involved with being Native scholars in the academy, (2) continue to be true to our values of honoring the collective above individualism, (3) use our collective strength to communicate and advocate to the academy for community needs, (4) focus on the ways that our struggles will benefit future generations, and, most importantly, (5) continue to raise all of these issues in official capacities inside of the academy to foster progressive change.‖
    • Presumed Incompetent: Foreword Bettina Aptheker, Professor of Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz "We are in the university. We are in the labs. We are in the law schools and courtrooms, medical schools, and operating theaters. We prevail, but sometimes it is at enormous cost to ourselves, to our sense of well-being, balance, and confidence. This book should go a long way toward healing wounds, affirming sanity, and launching renewed determination."
    • Essay: Facing Down the Spooks Angela Mae Kupenda, Professor of Law, Mississippi College School of Law ―As a final story, when I was working in an extremely oppressive environment, my sleep was regularly disturbed by dreams of being chased by something scary. When I told my mother about these fitful dreams and scary characters, she said the next time I had that dream I should make myself acutely aware of their presence, stop running, turn around, and face them down. I did, and these nocturnal creatures went away. I stood up to them in my dreams and also, subsequently, found courage and words to confront them in my nightmarish work situation. Somehow facing them minimized their power over me and enlarged my own power.‖
    • From back cover of Presumed Incompetent Mari Matsuda, Professor of Law, University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law ―This book felt so painfully familiar I almost could not read it. Those of us who started our careers as firsts and onlys have had to forget much about the cruelty hidden in academic enclaves. Forgetting, a means of surviving, buries pain and erases history, leaving us morally and intellectually flimsy. Thanks to these women for taking the harder path of truth-telling.‖
    • Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia Utah State University Press, 2012 Presumed Incompetent is a pathbreaking account of the intersecting roles of race, gender, and class in the working lives of women faculty of color. Through personal narratives and qualitative empirical studies, more than 40 authors expose the daunting challenges faced by academic women of color as they navigate the often hostile terrain of higher education, including hiring, promotion, tenure, and relations with students, colleagues, and administrators.