From “ConcernedStudent1950” to Diversifying the Profession: Responding to Student Demands for Change

AHA Session 132-A
Friday, January 8, 2016: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM
Salon A (Hilton Atlanta, Second Floor)
Matthew Garcia, Arizona State University
Marcia Chatelain, Georgetown University
Duchess Harris, Macalester College
Douglas M. Haynes, University of California, Irvine
Jonathan Scott Holloway, Yale University
Jacqueline Jones Royster, Georgia Institute of Technology

Session Abstract

In the wake of numerous incidents that have made students of color feel unwelcome and even threatened on college campuses across the nation, young people have created a potent protest movement that has articulated clear demands and registered significant victories. The most immediate results have been the resignation of administrators who have deepened the alienation of these students. Conversely, some faculty and administrators have claimed that such uprisings have led to the curtailing of free speech on campus and placed limitations on the freedom of the press. Whatever one’s position, it is clear that diversity is once again front and center in our profession, and that we need to address the problems raised, chief among them our persistent failure to diversify our faculty. We have assembled a range of faculty and administrators to discuss ways to address the problems that have gained national attention over the last few months.  Our discussion will focus on one of the key demands of students of color, greater diversity in faculty hiring, but also include the following: graduate student participation in the field among under-represented populations and their experience; declining participation of minorities among humanities majors; inaccuracies in textbooks and the politics of textbook adoption; complicity of colleges and universities in racial oppression, nativism, etc.; persistence of racial violence and surveillance even on college and university campuses; and the influence of the Obama Presidency and his critics on campus.

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