This month I’m talking about the relationship between being an ally, accomplice, and co-conspirator. This relationship, I argue, is a cyclical one – allyship is just the first stage.Continue reading “Unlocking the Cycle of Departmental Allyship”
5 Things We Need to Sacrifice in Classical Studies
I recently saw a Tweet that emphasized the true purpose of anti-racism work: repair, restoration, and sacrifice where necessary.
The third element – sacrifice – particularly struck me, especially as I was trying to think of what this week’s blog post would be about. It put the ongoing debates about the vitality of the field of Classics into a new perspective.
Those who have argued for ‘burning it all down’ know what it would mean to make sacrifices for the betterment of the discipline; those who oppose and criticize the idea of reforming Classics are simply afraid of a little discomfort. They would rather see a discipline rife with problems continue to thrive than sacrifice some things in order to at least begin to solve those problems.
This makes me think of Reni Eddo-Lodge’s concept of ‘fear of a black planet’ — the fear that by giving black people any power at all, the cultural hierarchy would be inverted and white people would be completely powerless and oppressed. (A similar concern was raised about the term ‘intersectionality‘. Do I sense a theme?)
What would the equivalent be for Classics? Fear of a BIPOC discipline?
I’d like to say that this is only characteristic of the old, white, tenured contingency of the discipline, but that just isn’t the case. We all need to make sacrifices, some much bigger than others, if we want to make progress in making Classics an anti-racist discipline.Continue reading “5 Things We Need to Sacrifice in Classical Studies”
3 Tips for More Anti-Racist Mentorship
This morning I participated in a plenary session for a workshop on anti-racist and decolonial curricula in archaeology hosted by the Columbia Center for Archaeology. In my talk, I framed the topic of anti-racist curricula in terms of mentorship, and the ways in which good mentorship could help alleviate the pressures placed on first-gen, marginalized, and underrepresented students in Classical Studies and archaeology by the hidden curriculum.
The Hidden Curriculum
The hidden curriculum is a set of skills or norms that individuals are expected to know, particularly in academia, without being formally taught them.
On this blog, I have taken a particular interest in the hidden curriculum, and have made several blog posts illuminating different aspects of it.
Skills and norms which are part of the hidden curriculum include:
- Preparing for fieldwork
- Writing a dissertation (prospectus, chapter)
- How and when to apply for funding
- Writing conference abstracts and papers
- What to wear and how to act when attending a conference
- How to interview for a (usually academic) job
These range from seemingly simple skills to more complex ones. However, our assumptions about individuals’ knowledge of these skills and norms disproportionately harm students from marginalized backgrounds. These students feel they must put in twice the work to keep up with their peers.
Here are some ways that we can better support students throughout their academic careers.Continue reading “3 Tips for More Anti-Racist Mentorship”
Doing Anti-Racism Work the SMART Way
As I mentioned earlier this week on Instagram, despite the fact that spring is (finally!) right around the corner, we continue to be deeply entangled with our screens – from working from home, to doom-scrolling on social media, to organizing and attending virtual events as part of our anti-racism work.
While so many of us have been keeping up the momentum for nearly a year, there are others who no longer have the bandwidth to continue actively being allies for their BIPOC friends and colleagues.
I get it. This work is exhausting; it takes a lot out of you. But the work is not done just because you are.
So, how might we begin our anti-racism work anew and combat the fatigue – Zoom fatigue, decision fatigue, or otherwise?
The solution: re-framing our approach to anti-racism work using a SMART goal setting framework.
This approach has already helped me make progress on my dissertation, so why shouldn’t it be useful for making our anti-racism work more realistic and easily attainable?Continue reading “Doing Anti-Racism Work the SMART Way”