The civil rights movement of the 1960s and the affirmative action programs enacted in the 1970s held great promise for people of color, women, and gays and lesbians seeking careers in higher education. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, what is the status of these traditionally underrepresented groups in English and foreign language departments across the United States? The eleven essays collected in this volume describe individual African American, Chicano and Chicana, Native American, Asian American, gay and lesbian, and white female experiences in academe. Representing a wide variety of fields and career paths in the profession, the authors explore topics such as marginalization, alienation, and persistent discrimination; the obstacles women and minorities face in advancing their careers, as well as strategies for overcoming those obstacles; the backlash against affirmative action; and the implications of gender, sexuality, race, and power in the classroom. While many of the essays give strikingly personal accounts of their authors’ struggles, the collection as a whole reveals the complexity of academe’s response to the challenge of faculty diversity.
Power, Race, and Gender in Academe is an excellent resource and teaching guide for junior faculty members as they enter the profession. Administrators and senior colleagues will find in the volume thoughtful discussions of hiring and tenure practices, classroom and service evaluations, and other departmental procedures and their effects on a multicultural faculty.