Conditionally Accepted

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.

You can also like us on Facebook here and follow us on Twitter @conditionaccept.


To reach this column, click here.

Conditionally Accepted Archive

October 21, 2016

Claiming that “mesearch” is a particular issue for scholars of color demonstrates a profound lack of self-awareness on the part of researchers in the social sciences and humanities, argues Victor Ray.

October 14, 2016

J. Sumerau provides advice to researchers who find themselves studying groups or phenomena missing -- mostly or entirely -- from the current scientific literature.

October 7, 2016

A.W. Strouse tells a cautionary tale about how academe turned him into a gay conservative.

October 7, 2016

Shawn Anthony Robinson, a black man with dyslexia, describes through poetry his successful journey through academe.

September 30, 2016

Colleges and universities must do more than just bring in a speaker from the movement, only momentarily suspending the whiteness that pervades the everyday life and operations of the campus, argues Eric Anthony Grollman.

September 23, 2016

Faculty member Betsy Lucal now strongly urges any student who will listen to reconsider their plans to earn a Ph.D.

September 16, 2016

Too many academics of color, and recent Ph.D.s in particular, are getting the misguided advice to accept the initial terms of a job offer, argues Sylvanna Falcón.

September 9, 2016

Despite the excuses that administrators often give, a commitment to diversity can go beyond lip service and translate into more faculty of color in tenure-track, tenured, full professor and upper administrative ranks, argues Adia Harvey Wingfield.

September 9, 2016

If we want college to work for everyone -- especially students on the margins -- we have to advise those who are most vulnerable, writes Wendy M. Christensen.

September 2, 2016

Latinas/os are racialized in ways that mark us as people of color, writes Salvador Vidal-Ortiz, yet our experience is trivialized as ethnic, not racial.



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 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 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!

Click to view Blogroll
Click to hide Blogroll

Critical Blogs:

Women of Color:

Fat Women:


People of Color:

LGBT and Queer People:

Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming People:

LGBT and Queer People of Color:

Lesbian, Queer, and Bisexual Women:

Disabled People/People with Disabilities:

Poor and Working-Class People:

Liberal Arts Careers:

Alternative Careers:

Contingent Faculty:

Advice Blogs:

General Academic Blogs:

Educational Blogs:



Back to Top