Some things I’ve been up to and events to come:
- I did an interview with Tadween, an online publication of the Arab Studies Institution, on open access publishing and other contested issues in higher education.
- St. Louis Magazine selected me as one of 15 people in “Generation Now” – “St. Louisans between 18-35 who are shaping laws, altering neighborhoods, and improving lives.” I’m among great company and I highly recommend checking out the other St. Louisans profiled in the new issue. Watch a video about our work here.
- Rebecca Schuman wrote a great piece for Slate on academics who quit, drawing off my Closing of American Academia article from last year
- I will be making an appearance at this year’s American Anthropological Association meeting on a roundtable panel with Karen Kelsky (“The Professor Is In”) called “Anthropologists on the Job Market: How Departments and Job Seekers Can Respond to the Employment Crisis”.
In light of the recent murder of Renisha McBride, along with the recent articles on hostile racial climate for Black students at Berkeley and the cover-up of racial discrimination complaints at UCLA, do you think the issue of racial bias in hiring will come up in your AAA presentation. I have yet to see Karen Kelsky, or most anthropologists, acknowledging this issue: especially as how one’s legitimate complaints will be interpreted and responded to varies greatly based on race, with dark-skinned Black people being labeled unacceptable threats for simply expressing legitimate dissent or observations about inequality. The issue of ‘fit’ is usually a code for ‘not a POC who scares is because we see those people as inherently violent and thus need to be made to ‘feel comfortable’ that they are not’. And the darker one is the harder it becomes to be seen as a ‘good fit’ while making the kinds of critiques of the prestige economy that you are able to make and make a living from. For saying the same things, Black women–even with elite academic credentials–will (still)be seen as ‘threatening’ to the point of deserving to be shot in the face, or otherwise wrongfully criminalized and excessively punished/brutalized by police.
I’m speaking for less than 10 minutes, mostly on the self-defeating insularity of anthropology. Each of the speakers is going for 10 minutes, then it’s open discussion with questions from the audience. I am more than happy to discuss racism in anthropology, particularly in hiring and the issue of “fit”, which I agree can serve as a proxy for racial discrimination. I hope someone asks about it.
Sorry to be so ‘strident’, but you are one of VERY FEW anthropologists speaking honestly about racism in anthropology and the academy, and calling out the ridiculous ‘speaking for’ POC while silencing actual POC who want to speak for themselves that anthropology encourages. Thanks for calling out the BS which others of us are terrorized for trying to discuss.
I don’t think you are being strident at all. I think you’re raising valid concerns that a lot of people are afraid to express.
The non-response to Black female anthropologists in response to the Savage Minds post on how to ‘dress like an anthropologist’ makes it pretty clear that the issues of ‘fit’ as a proxy for racial discrimination, which you are wiling to confront, will not even be acknowledged by the majority of (White) anthros: http://backupminds.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/conference-chic-or-how-to-dress-like-an-anthropologist/.