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Educators Queering Academia

Critical Memoirs

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Edited By sj Miller and Nelson M. Rodriguez

The memoirs in this collection represent a cross-section of critical reflections by a queerly diverse set of individuals on their experiences inhabiting a variety of spaces within the field of education. In their stories, the authors share how they queered and are continuing to queer the academy in relation to questions of teaching, research, policy, and/or administration. Their memoirs speak across generations of queer educators and scholars; collectively their work highlights an array of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. As snapshots in time, the memoirs can be taken up as archive and studied in order to gain perspective on the issues facing queers in the academy across various intersections of identities related to ethnicity, culture, language, (a)gender, (a)sexuality, (dis)ability, socio-economic status, religion, age, veteran status, health status, and more. By way of the memoirs in this volume, a richer body of queer knowledge is offered that can be pulled from and infused into the academic and personal contexts of the work of educators queering academia.
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Chapter Thirteen: Intersectional Warrior: Battling the Onslaught of Layered Microaggressions in the Academy

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← 124 | 125 →

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Intersectional Warrior: Battling the Onslaught of Layered Microaggressions in the Academy

DARRELL CLEVELAND HUCKS

 

INTRODUCTION

Predominantly white institutions (PWI) of higher education across the country continue to struggle with building diversity at both the faculty and student levels. Many institutions put forth their respective commitment to diversifying their institutions via recruitment initiatives. The benefits of diverse learning environments have long been discussed in the higher education research literature (Hurtado, Milem, Clayton-Pedersen, and Allen, 1999; Milem and Hakuta, 2000; Hurtado, Alvarez, Guillermo-Wann, Cuellar, and Arellano, 2012). Still, the negative experiences encountered by non-white individuals or groups entering PWIs are being well documented (Cooper and Stevens, 2002; Turner, Gonzalez and Chock, 2004; Turner, Gonzalez and Wood, 2008). Unfortunately, when most people advocate for diversity they are advocating for skin-color or racial diversity. On the surface, this level of diversity would be the easiest to determine at-a-glance and the easiest to monitor with little authentic engagement.

However, we must then ask ourselves is a commitment to recruiting diverse individuals a passive process or a surface level diversity (SLD) endeavor? Or should it be an active process of engagement that goes well beyond the surface of skin color differences? If it is the later, then institutions need to move beyond the observing phase and explore the quality of their engagement with those who they identify as diverse. ← 125 | 126 → Institutions need to prepare existing faculty to...

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