Who exactly did I think I was, Fatimah Williams Castro asked herself, to want to leave the professoriate?
Many individuals are drawn to higher education, including academic careers, because of academe’s potential for change. Countless prospective and current graduate students note that their desire to make a difference in their communities or society in general was their primary decision to attend graduate training. Unfortunately, many colleges and universities in the U.S. have practiced outright discrimination and exclusion throughout history, particularly against women, people of color, and disabled people/people with disabilities.
Today, academe — like every social institution — is structured hierarchically, producing numerous professional and personal obstacles for academics from marginalized backgrounds. Scholars who are women, of color, lesbian, trans, bisexual, gay, queer, disabled, working-class or poor, immigrants, fat, religious and non-religious minorities, and/or single parents are faced daily with the difficult tension between academe's narrow definition of success and their own politics, identities, needs, happiness, and health.
Conditionally Accepted was created as a freestanding blog in July 2013 as an online space for scholars on the margins of academe. It has steadily grown since, becoming a career advice column for Inside Higher Ed in January 2016. In this column, we provide news, information, personal stories, and resources for scholars who are, at best, conditionally accepted in academe. Conditionally Accepted is an anti-racist, pro-feminist, pro-queer, anti-transphobic, anti-fatphobic, anti-ableist, anti-ageist, anti-classist, and anti-xenophobic online community.
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Conditionally Accepted Archive
Whatever your goals are, keeping careful track of your work can help you stay focused on them, writes Shannon Craigo-Snell.
As a department chair, screwups are inevitable, writes Professor Plainspoken. The key is finding ways to avoid beating yourself up about them.
Many colleges and universities pride themselves on their commitment to diversity, yet that commitment often seems to be superficial, writes Macy Wilson.
J. Sumerau describes a smart approach to establish productive collaborations.
We no longer need advice for what individual faculty should do about the problem, argues Jamie J. Hagen. Rather, we should be seeking real institutional change.
Faculty members often seem to lack insight into how to write strong letters on their students’ behalf, writes Manya Whitaker, who offers 10 guidelines for improvement.
Shannon Craigo-Snell suggests ways that scholars, especially marginalized ones, can solicit strong letters of recommendation.
Even if tenure is a few years off, new tenure-track faculty can take a few important steps right now, writes Tanya Golash-Boza.
When moving from ideas to publication, if you don’t look, think and/or write like the dominant academics in your field, the path can be treacherous, writes Shannon Craigo-Snell.
Dr. Eric Anthony Grollman, Editor, I speak as a queer, multiracial (Black, white, and Jewish), middle-class, fat, spiritual, US-born, feminist genderqueer man without disabilities. I am currently a tenure-track professor in sociology at University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia. An “activist gone academic,” I pursued a PhD in sociology at Indiana University to become a better activist. To my surprise, graduate training is designed to “beat the activist” out of grad students. Thus, I was traumatized in the process of earning my PhD. These experiences led me to create Conditionally Accepted after I graduated in 2013 to make visible the scholars, perspectives, experiences, advice, and resources that were not available to me. I regularly blog, interweaving my personal experiences with my research (i.e., prejudice and discrimination) and current events, to reflect on the practices and policies that keep many scholars on the margins of academia. You can follow me on Twitter at @grollman.
Dr. Jeana Jorgensen, Regular Contributor, I write and teach from the life experiences of a culturally Jewish, agnostic, able-bodied, sex-positive, intersectional feminist and as a bisexual cisgender woman. My Ph.D. is in folklore with a focus on gender studies. While I initially set out to study traditional folklore topics such as fairy tales, personal narratives, and body art, recently I've gone alt-ac and started to pursue a career in sex education, research, and writing. I am an adjunct instructor at a Midwestern small liberal arts college, and I also teach and perform dance professionally. I often blog about my experiences adjuncting, in an effort to demonstrate the difficulty of extricating the personal from the political. I hope to write more on the stories we tell about bodies and sexualities in university settings and beyond. You can find my writing at MySexProfessor, on my sex educator site, and on my personal blog. Follow me on Twitter @foxyfolklorist.
Dr. J. Sumerau, Regular Contributor, I write from the life experiences of a most of the time male-appearing bisexual, genderqueer, skeptic Queer Intersectional Feminist. My teaching, research and activism focus on the intersections of sexualities, gender, religion, and health in the interpersonal and her-his-our-storical experiences of sexual, gender, and religious minorities. I am an assistant professor of sociology at mid-sized southern university, and I regularly write about the personal and emotional aspects of teaching and scholarship at Write Where It Hurts (@writewherehurts), and relationships between music and social life at Symbolic Interaction Music Blog. I often blog about my experiences navigating binary religious, sexual, and gender assumptions and systems of thought and organization, in an effort to demonstrate the ways such patterns erase and marginalize sexual, gender, and religious fluidity and variation in our world. I hope to foster dialogue and debate that allows us to move beyond “yes or no,” “right or wrong,” and “good or bad” frameworks to embrace the complexity of our shared and disparate experiences in the pursuit of a more equitable world for all. Feel free to check out my academic work on jsumerau.com or follow my public writing on Twitter @jsumerau.
Dr. Manya Whitaker, Regular Contributor, I blog from the perspective of a southern, Black, middle class, US-born woman. I am an assistant professor of education at an elite private liberal arts college. Upon entering academe, I deviated from my psychological roots and delved into the realm of education because it was then I saw the outcomes of an inequitable K-12 schooling system. The majority of my students are from white upper-income families and enjoy the resultant privileges. Through my courses I offer a counter-narrative to present the perspectives of diverse peoples and experiences by juxtaposing issues of equality with issues of equity. I research about what it takes to be an effective teacher to culturally and linguistically diverse students.
On my person blog, theotherclass, I write about my own experiences as a woman of color in a space that wasn’t built for me. While my blog is indeed for me, I also write to give voice to the silenced who may not be in a position to speak for themselves. I also share knowledge in my educational consultant business and through my participation in an online educational advice platform. Check out my academic work at manyawhitakerphd.com and to follow me on Twitter @IvyLeagueLady.
Jackson Wright , Regular Contributor, is an activist, educator and the author of Trans/Portraits: Voices From Transgender Communities. As the education director for the Trans Education, Activism, Community & Health (TEACH) Alliance, he has spoken throughout the country on contemporary issues in transgender communities. When not working with the TEACH Alliance, Shultz teaches composition and creative writing courses at New England College. He is an alumnus of Washington State University and Dartmouth College, and is a current doctoral student at New England College.
There are many, many blogs for and/or by scholars on the margins of academia. Below, you will find a general list of blogs, followed by those of particular social locations (e.g., women of color). Please note that we do not wish to (mis)place people into identity boxes; rather, we offer loose categories to guide particular interests of our readers.
This is a growing list, so please let us know of others that we have missed!
- The Academic Activist
- Rebel Research Collective
- Dr. Sarah Kendzior’s blog
- Pan Kisses Kafka (Rebecca Schuman)
- Faculty Orientations
- Postadrianism (Glen Jankowski)
- The Homeless Adjunct
- Write Where It Hurts
Women of Color:
- Refuse the Silence
- the other class (Manya Whitaker)
- Fight the Tower
- Aware of Awareness (Crystal Fleming)
- Margaria Aziza, Reflections at the Intersection of Islam, Race, and Gender
- The Feminist Wire
- The Feminist Griote
- tressiemc (Tressie McMillan Cottom)
- No Extra Credit (Nyasha Junior)
- Crunk Feminist Collective
- 2 Dope Sistahs
- Isis the Scientist
- Latinas Completing Doctoral Degrees
- The Fat Chick Sings
- Two Whole Cakes
- Dances With Fat
- Friend of Marilyn
- The Rotund (Marianne Kirby)
- Obesity Timebomb (Charlotte Cooper)
- Badass Fatass (Michaela A. Nowell)
- Jeana Jorgensen, Ph.D.
- College Ready Writing (Lee Skallerup)
- Tenure, She Wrote
- Female Science Professor
- Academic Jungle
- University of Venus
- Hook and Eye
- Thus Spake Zuska
- Feminist Philosophers
- Female Computer Scientist (also, here)
- American Association of University Women (AAUW)
- Reassigned Time 2.0
- The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
- Rogue Cheerios
- Balancing Jane
- Scientist Mother
- Surviving Academia
- mitacoach (“Mothering In the Academy” Coach)
- Blue Lab Coats
- The Tight Rope
- What is it Like to be a Woman in Philosophy?
- The Feminist Wire
- Gender and Society Journal blog
- Girl w/ a Pen (The Society Pages)
- The Saucy Scholar (Meredith Heller)
- Women in Astronomy
People of Color:
- Racism Review
- The Color Line (The Society Pages)
- Mentoring Blog (ASA Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities)
- JAPAN Sociology
- Black In Blue (Tony Gaskew)
LGBT and Queer People:
- Social (In)Queery (CJ Pascoe, Jane Ward, Tey Meadows, and others)
- Queer Metropolis (Jason Orne)
- Queer(ing) Law (Jeff Kosbie)
- The Network for LGBT Health Equity
- Criticality (Michael Broder)
- Center of Gravitas
- The Lab and Field (Alex Bond)
- Denim and Tweed (Jeremy Yoder)
Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming People:
- The Intersex Roadshow (Cary Gabriel Costello)
- TransFusion (Cary Gabriel Costello)
- Trannysaurus Wrex (joe l. simonis)
LGBT and Queer People of Color:
- QueerBlackFemininst (Andreana Clay)
- Sista Outsider
- Voice of Consciousness (Abigail A. Sewell)
- Black Girl Dangerous
- blac (k) ademic (Kortney Ryan Ziegler)
Lesbian, Queer, and Bisexual Women:
- Feminist Pigs (Jane Ward)
- Lesboprof (The Chronicle)
- The Madwoman With a Laptop (Marilee Lindemann)
- Tenured Radical (Claire Potter)
- Bricolage (Michelle Kweder)
- Balanced Instability
- Hunter of Justice (Nan Hunter)
- Your Queer Prof (D’Lane Compton)
- Marx In Drag (Mimi Schippers)
Disabled People/People with Disabilities:
- Disabled Philosophers
- Where’s Lulu?
- Lefty by Default (Laura Overstreet)
- Adventures of a Part-Time Wheeler
- Crip Confessions (Bethany Stevens)
- My New Kentucky Home (Erin Breedlove)
- Rolling with the Punches
Poor and Working-Class People:
Liberal Arts Careers:
- From PhD to Life
- Alt-Ac Liberation
- Escape the Ivory Tower
- From Grad School to Happiness
- A Post-Academic in NYC
- Another Academic Bites the Dust
- Chronicles of a Recovering Academic
- Doctor Outta Here
- Beyond the Tenure Track
- Pan Kisses Kafka (Rebecca Schuman)
- A Year of Living Academically
- The Smart Casual
- Fugitive Faculty (Miranda Merklein)
- The Adjunct Project blog (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
- The Adjunct Crisis
- Adjunct Purgatory
- As the Adjunctiverse Turns
- GradHacker blog (Inside Higher Ed)
- The Professor is In (Karen Kelsky)
- Get a Life, PhD (Tanya Golash-Boza)
- Words Are My Game (Liana M. Silva-Ford)
- PhD Talk (Eva Lantsoght)
- The Early Career Blog (University of Cambridge Career Services)
- Nick Hopwood’s blog
- The Hidden Curriculum (ASA Sociology of Education Section)
- Daren C. Brabham, Ph.D.’s blog
General Academic Blogs:
- The Chronicle of Higher Education Blogs
- Inside Higher Ed Blogs
- The Academe Blog (AAUP)
- University of Flies
- New Faculty
- Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega’s blog
- Grumpy rumblings of the (formerly!) untenured
- Overworked TA
- Surviving Grad School
- Not of General Interest
- Confessions of a Community College Dean
- The Adventures of Notorious Ph.D., Girl Scholar
- The Misadventures of Dr. Beech (Megan Beech)
- 27 and a PhD
- a (budding) sociologist’s commonplace book (Dan Hirschman)
- what is the what (Jenn Lena)
As a part of our effort to make academic research and resources more accessible within and beyond academia, we have compiled a growing list of resources. Though there is some overlap, we have grouped them into categories for easier, quicker searches.
- Resources For Graduate Students
- Resources For Alternative And New Careers (alt-ac/post-ac)
- Resources For Tenure-Track Faculty
- Resources For Adjuncts And Other Contingent Faculty
- Resources On Sexualities And For LGBTQ Scholars
- Resources On Disabilities and For Disabled Scholars
- Resources On Gender And For Women Scholars
- Resources On Race and Ethnicity And For Scholars of Color
- Resources On Class And For Working-Class Scholars
- Resources On Fat Studies And For Fat Scholars
- Teaching and Pedagogy Resources
- Public Scholarship And Activism Resources