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Did affirmative action programs solve the problem of race on American college campuses, as several recent books would have us believe? If so, why does talking about race in anything more than a superficial way make so many students uncomfortable? Written by college instructors from many disciplines, this volume of essays takes a bold first step toward a nationwide conversation. Each of the twenty-nine contributors addresses one central question: what are the challenges facing a college professor who believes that teaching responsibly requires an honest and searching examination of race?
Professors from the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and education consider topics such as how the classroom environment is structured by race; the temptation to retreat from challenging students when faced with possible reprisals in the form of complaints or negative evaluations; the implications of using standardized evaluations in faculty tenure and promotion when the course subject is intimately connected with race; and the varying ways in which white faculty and faculty of color are impacted by teaching about race.
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BONNIE TUSMITH is an associate professor of English at Northeastern University. She is the author of All My Relatives: Community in Contemporary Ethnic American Literatures and other scholarly works on literature and multiethnic pedagogy.
MAUREEN T. REDDY is a professor of English and women's studies at Rhode Island College. She is the author of several books, including Crossing the Color Line: Race, Parenting, and Culture (Rutgers University Press) and Everyday Acts Against Racism.
How does the issue of race affect how one teaches, what one teaches, whom one teaches, and whom one is taught by? To address these questions, editors TuSmith (Northeastern Univ.) and Reddy (Rhode Island Coll.) have assembled a collection of personal essays by faculty members who have attempted to confront racism in the classroom and the curriculum. The contributors, who represent a variety of disciplines, are guided by three core concerns: how the race of an instructor (or her decision to address race as a subject of study) affects her authority in the classroom, what effects the decision to address this "uncomfortable" topic has on one's teaching evaluations and future prospects in the academy, and what models are available for faculty wishing to pursue an "antiracist pedagogy" in the classroom. The book has some drawbacks: there is some repetition among its 25 essays, and readers must accept certain controversial "givens," e.g., that race is a fundamentally more significant means of discussing conflict in American society than is gender, class, or religion. But this book provides valuable insight into the personal and professional struggles of academics who have chosen to address race in their classrooms. Certainly a useful addition to any collection that includes a focus on multicultural education, diverse teachers and learners, or debates over affirmative action or political correctness in higher education, it is recommended for academic libraries. Scott Walter, Washington State Univ. Lib., Pullman
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Rutgers University Press, 2002. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG081353108X