NeMLA 2021 Panel: "Walking Among Many Worlds: Women of Color in Academia"

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

52nd Annual Northeast Modern Language Association Convention

March 11-14, 2021

Philadelphia, PA

Acknowledging and promoting racial diversity is crucial to social justice in order to not only encourage inclusivity, but also to make visible voices that have been traditionally omitted or silenced in the humanities and academe. Equity is more crucial than ever, as white supremacy has gained momentum in its movement, targeting the university as site of radical, liberal indoctrination. However, there are competing epistemologies of how to implement intersectional and antiracist policy and procedure that can leave faculty of color bearing the emotional, intellectual, and physical burdens. This panel seeks to represent perspectives that complicate mainstream discourse about race and social justice currently transforming humanities departments. The struggles of women of color, in particular, span from assumptions about identity politics they encounter during the hiring process; to working with colleagues whose two-dimensional ideas about race and identity, rooted in cultural pluralism, have serious implications on curriculum; to interactions in the classroom with students showing resistance when confronted with race, culture, and social justice in discussions about privilege. At times, their subject-positioning, as advocates for social justice, and their lived experience, as women of color, make them vulnerable as they negotiate academic spaces that have largely benefitted from maintaining the white, heteronormative status quo.

This panel will consider analyses of the experiences of women of color teaching in the humanities and as tenure-track faculty maneuvering the politics and biases ingrained, but not necessarily interrogated, in the demands of their academic lives: white privilege and white fragility and their relationship to silence; degrees of aggression, from micro to macro; lack of institutional resources and support (programming, funding, etc); invisible labor and inequitable workloads; sliding scale between isolation, invisibility, and tokenism; resistance from students and from colleagues; consequences of challenging the stubborn inertia of academe.

Please submit a 300 word abstract and a 100 word bio through the NeMLA submission page:

Please direct any questions to the panel chairs, Dr. Allison Parker ( and Dr. Iliana Rocha (, via emai

Deadline for Submission:  September 30, 2020

Information about Abstract Submission Guidelines and Information:

Information about the 52nd NeMLA Conference: