A Different Kind of Professor

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In this chapter I share how I experience my multiracial and gendered identity on a day-to-day basis in the academy. I explain the development and expression of my own standpoint along with some blatant and latent forms of discrimination I've faced. I then introduce some creative ways I've found to succeed by questioning the academic environment and focusing on creativity, change, and the power of changing demographics. I conclude by expressing my standpoint of what it means to be a different kind of professor.

"A Different Kind of Professor,” in Still Searching For Our Mothers' Gardens: Experiences of New, Tenure-Track Women of Color at 'Majority’ Institutions eds. Marnel N. Niles and Nikesia S. Gordon (Lanham: University Press of America, 2011): 63-78.

Rave Reviews

Anyone who believes we have reached a post-racial, post-feminist moment must read this book. These powerful, thoughtful essays not only offer an accounting of the experiences of women of color in the academy, but they provide some of the most incisive analyses of the persistence of race and gender oppressions and what we lose, both in the academy and in the culture at large, when women of color are relegated to the margins. While this alone is a remarkable achievement, Still Searching for Our Mother’s Gardens goes further. Taken together, these essays draw on the experiences of “triple jeopardy” (race, class and gender) to generate new theoretical perspectives, new visions of how to change the academy, and innovative approaches to pedagogy and research that will benefit all scholars. Irrespective of your field or your identity, if you want to glimpse the future of the academy—or at least what it could become—you must read this book.

Robin D. G. Kelley,
Professor of History and American Studies
University of Southern California

P.s. It was also a joy reading my former student (Marcia Dawkins) and seeing others cited like Denise Taliaferro Baszile (whom I taught when she was a freshman at UCLA and I was a young TA). You all are an amazing generation.

Academic Travails

I thought you might be interested in this article by Katherine Sender
(annenberg east).....on our academic travails.


tragic example

here's a tragic examples of the imbalance that academia can promote if we let it. just awful...


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Dr. Dawkins, My sincere hope

Dr. Dawkins,
My sincere hope is that academe soon realizes how lucky it is to be graced by your "difference." My sincerer hope is that one day your presence won't need to be considered different at all. Your plethora of talents could be put to so many more profitable endeavors than the professoriate, but I'm glad you continue to stake a claim here. We desperately need more intelligent, courageous women of color like you to do the day to day grinding in the classroom and writing in the evenings and reading on the weekends to change the perspectives of not just our students but society writ large.
Dr. Utley