The Rumble Continues

Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in  Academia: Niemann, Yolanda Flores, Gutiérrez y Muhs, Gabriella, González,  Carmen G., Harris, Angela P.: 9781607329640: Books

From my perspective the work on the problems in the environmental law academy have already been done, but there just aren’t any real listeners or thinkers among the white men who dominate our field. I notice who gets mentored and who doesn’t, and that’s something a survey won’t be able to capture. What would be a more interesting survey would be who supports affirmative action, reparations, military interventions, fossil fuel capitalism, and who doesn’t. I also don’t believe the people who have the systems in place and are part of the problem have the capacity to correct/redress these issues. I don’t need a survey or data when I just see a blanket of snow in the environmental law academy with a few specks of black and brown.

I left the environmental law listserv late last year, because I could not stand the constant dribble of these men. And I am not alone in my feeling of isolation and frustration as a woman in the environmental law professoriate, but I am also not going to be part and parcel of system that subordinates my scholarship and me. I wrote 20 blog posts over the course of the last six months about why I cannot stand the environmental law listserv and other forms of racism and sexism in the academy. I unpublished them all and felt it was easier to leave the environmental law listserv and disengage and be withdrawn. The only thing that has changed is that I noticed that problem wasn’t me and my scholarship as much as it was my perceived treatment, my personal observations and reflections that made me come to a place that I don’t have to be accepted and recognized by “them” (broadly conceived).

Recommended Reading

  • Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia, edited by Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. Gonzalez and Angela P. Harris
  • Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in Academia, edited by Yolanda Flores Niemann, Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, & Carmen G. Gonzalez
  • Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, bell hooks
  • And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice, Derrick Bell
  • The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy, Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres
  • Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia, Meera Deo
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Nadia Ahmad

1 Comment

  1. pormujeresunidas on 15 Mar 2022 at 3:03 am

    As a voting rights attorney who litigates to save our democracy (or at least slow the fall of the empire) and who studies American social movements and history, I really appreciate this post. We need women to stand up and stand for one another. Academic institutions, just like philanthropy, feeds itself – and sometimes creates the problems that it then needs to fund (with tax breaks) to fix. I would love to meet you some day. Thank you for speaking your truth!

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