‘I would have become wallpaper if racism had its way’: Black female professors, racial battle fatigue, and strategies for surviving higher education

Rollock, Nicola. 2019. ‘I would have become wallpaper if racism had its way’: Black female professors, racial battle fatigue, and strategies for surviving higher education. Peabody Journal of Education, ISSN 0161-956X [Article] (Forthcoming)

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Abstract or Description

There are just 25 Black female full professors in UK universities. Black women are least less likely to occupy a role at this level compared with than their male and White counterparts. Despite this, Black women remain relatively absent in institutional initiatives to advance gender equality and there is little commitment amongst UK universities to explicitly address structural inequalities of race as they affect the experiences of academic staff. Black female academics remain under-represented and invisible in UK higher education. This article draws on the first known qualitative study into the career experiences and strategies of twenty of these Black female professors. Specifically, it engages Critical Race Theory and Bourdieu as principal theoretical frameworks to explore how their academic journeys, shaped as they are by an existence at the intersection of race and gender, result in racial battle fatigue, feelings of isolation, and disillusion with the academy. The article demonstrates how, despite these challenges, these women have been agentic in their efforts to navigate higher education. They have developed and continue to deploy sophisticated strategies of analysis, hyper-surveillance, self-care, and resilience in order to carve out a successful career in the academy and remain within it.

Item Type:

Article

Keywords:

UK Black female professors; racial battle fatigue; Critical Race Theory; Bourdieu

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies

Dates:

DateEvent
12 December 2019Accepted

Item ID:

27815

Date Deposited:

06 Jan 2020 10:02

Last Modified:

07 Jan 2020 18:23

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27815

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