Monday, April 23, 2012
From the Bookshelves: Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia
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
"Women in academia still face obstacles built up over centuries, but the contributors to Presumed Incompetent have taken a leap toward liberation. Their revelations will enrage you—and open minds and hearts." —Gloria Steinem
"Presumed Incompetent is undeniably a path-breaking book full of stories of resilience and survival. The editors of this magnificent collection attest to the power of storytelling and add to the testimonios of women in academia such as Telling to Live and Paths to Discovery. Each and every one of the authors survived and in telling their stories they offer hope and solace for young women scholars entering the academy." —Norma E. Cantú
"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." —Mari Matsuda
"Exploding the myth that we live in a "post-identity" world, Presumed Incompetent provides gripping first-hand accounts of the ways in which women faculty of color are subjected to stereotypes, fears and fantasies based on the intersection of race, gender, and class. It reminds us that the mere passage of time is not enough to create equitable workplaces for anyone facing institutional subordination." —Kimberlé Crenshaw
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. The narratives are filled with wit, wisdom, and concrete recommendations, and provide a window into the struggles of professional women in a racially stratified but increasingly multicultural America.