Second to None: Contingent Women of Color Faculty in the Classroom

Second to None: Contingent Women of Color Faculty in the Classroom

Ginny Jones Boss (Kennesaw State University, USA), Tiffany J. Davis (University of Houston, USA), Christa J. Porter (Kent State University, USA) and Candace M. Moore (University of Maryland, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5724-1.ch013

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to foreground the experiences of women of Color who serve in full-time, contingent faculty roles and interrogate the policies and practices that present both barriers and opportunities for these faculty members within the academy. Using a conceptual framework of previous literature in combination with critical race feminism and structuration theory, the authors discuss the ways in which identity (race, gender, and age) and position (contingent vs. tenure-track) influence faculty life and teaching. Throughout this discussion, the authors also introduce results from a study they conducted on Black women contingent faculty. The chapter concludes with the authors offering suggestions for institutional policy and practice.
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Theoretical Frameworks

Critical Race Feminism (CRF) is a derivative of Critical Race Theory that challenges historical feminist ideas that fail to recognize the differentiated experiences women have across racial categories (hooks, 2000; Wing, 1997). Likewise, CRF is aimed at disrupting colorblind ideologies by highlighting the way race and gender are interconnected when understanding inequalities WOC face. CRF recognizes there is no essential experience of womanhood or race; intersections of identity account for the varied experiences of subordination faced by WOC (Crenshaw, 1991). In connection with its roots to Critical Race Theory, CRF also asserts that racism has been normalized within culture and adds to the ways sexism, classism, and ageism have been normalized as well (Wing, 1997).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Intersectionality: A theoretical notion that names the relationship(s) between/among minoritized identities and the systems of oppression within which those identities exist and interact.

Critical: The process of interrogating systems and structures of power that serve to disenfranchise minoritized and marginalized persons.

Academy: Colleges and other institutions of higher education.

Contingent Faculty: Any faculty employed in a non-tenure track position.

Mentor: Someone who is chosen or assigned to usher another person through different personal or professional experiences.

Women of Color: A political term that signals solidarity among women of minoritized racial identities. It acknowledges their shared experiences.

Black Women: A term used to discuss women of African origin across the diaspora.

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