A resource

“Affective domain” is from Bloom’s Taxonomy, I am sure he got it from some pedagogy workshop or class or training somewhere. You can look it up and talk about what you do in the “cognitive domain” as well as the “affective domain” so that you can document that you’re speaking the language. Has he put “aggressive” or “demanding” in writing in an annual review? I think everything like that should be addressed in a very cool, substantive way. I don’t know your chair and you can get advice on this, but I had to be explicit with some people about how my identity was read (as a particular kind of black woman–you might check out Devon Carbado’s essay on the fifth black woman, it is useful in describing how different performances of an identity category can be punished). So you might ask, “since you’re concerned about affect and clearly know the scholarship well, can you talk to me about how to handle a gendered reading of me as ‘aggressive’ or ‘demanding'”? MOST of my students don’t feel that way, but we are all interacting with each other’s identities in the classroom. Do you have suggestions about how I can address their affect without taking away the rigor that X percent of my students clearly value?”



14 thoughts on “A resource

  1. Sounds like the chair is doing a classic, “something about you makes me uncomfortable so you must be doing something wrong” move. Yuck.

    My default demeanor in front of a class is apparently scary. Or so I gathered from student evaluations–in my 7 years teaching here, I’ve never been formally observed. I’m a total Muppet on the inside, but my whiteness, size, tone of voice, etc. seemed to intimidate students. I had to learn to perform a kind of “nice woman” that felt positively Kabuki-like when I first started. It feels more natural now and I get much better student evaluations. But still.

    Higher ed needs more opportunities for non-evaluative, mutually supportive conversations about presentation and pedagogy and how they’re shaped by race/ethnicity/gender/class. Reason #865 why the failure of higher ed admin/faculty demographics to reflect demographic realities is A Bad Thing.

    1. Yes ! ! !

      This was a response to someone else but I wish I had gotten this advice back at a certain point, when I really needed it.

      I am apparently very intimidating, also. I finally decided it is not my problem — if people choose to be intimidated it is their problem. Oddly people at R1s and community colleges are not intimidated, and I take this as a sign.

    1. Not yet, and have not figured it out. I do not have a great deal of patience with dogmatism on either side of this issue, though. Have any of these people ever done anything, or are they just staking out moral positions, masked as political positions, on websites? I wonder darkly.

    1. I can’t publish my Anzaldúa piece because it is not an honorific reading and the Anglos won’t let another person with a name not in Spanish say anything even slightly critical. The women assistant professors complain about the oppression they suffer from second wave feminists who made it possible for them to get jobs en masse. I of course like Kimberlé Crenshaw but I am not at all impressed with intersectionality used as weapon in the battle of competitive misery. So I still have not read the Nation article but I may actually be sympathetic to it on one level. And at the same time, on some other, opposite side: I am too much in the dark community to have a lot of patience with these holier than thou battles or even want to be involved. So I will decipher the Nation article when I can get to it but am just sort of “over” this … for example, I quit the Women Studies faculty almost 20 years ago because of the whiteness, never looked back.

    1. Ah — and there is this: http://storify.com/jaysmooth/latoya-peterson-the-work

      And on another note, I think my issue with Women Studies wasn’t even about race in the way I had thought — they were competent on race within US, had been schooled, but weren’t good enough at anything outside US, or at questions of class.

      Another thought I had was that academic women studies might not be feminist.

  2. Totally agree with you. Don’t get me started on the Women’s Studies crowd who stood silently in a meeting while an administrator belittled the (African American) former director of my institution Women’s Center (which does great things), and she was there. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and started screaming at him. See why I don’t blog more often?

    1. Oh, you could blog, you would just have to veil it. I used to talk a lot about things happening on campus in allegorical form.

      Back when I was originally outraged, I named Women’s Studies “The Ladies’ Auxiliary.”

  3. P.S. — now that I have become a Kendzior follower, I would say the Nation article also reminds me of Claire Potter, and other similar types, “policing the norms of academia.” (No, tenure track is NOT to non tenure track as white is to of color, Karen Kelsky, but it does appear that certain people who have decided their role is to repeat and reproduce academonormativity (hey! here is my neologism for the day!) absolutely cannot hear anyone else speak.

  4. I read that piece, but I figure that the real enemies of feminism in academia as I experienced it were MEN! Anecdotes available upon request
    I’m not reading anything in feminist thought that arouses my interest these days.

    1. Some of the worst stories I have involve mens’ attitudes to married women. For example the Berkeley professor whose student never got a job, we could not figure out why; finally she got someone to read her confidential file and he had said in it that since she was married she would never move for a job. When in fact her husband had a totally portable career and furthermore, was looking forward to her getting a job, anywhere, on the theory that it would be his chance to retrain for something new he might feel like at that point. Aargh.

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