Academic Outsider

To commemorate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, this week's review addresses structural inequalities in academia that exclude and disadvantage women of color.

Academic Outsider: Stories of Exclusion and Hope

Reyes, Victoria. Stanford, 2022
184p bibl, 9781503632998 $14.00, 9781503633681

Academic Outsider: Stories of Exclusion and Hope book cover.

Reyes (Univ. of California, Riverside), the author of Global Borderlands (CH, Mar’20, 57-2453), is a sociologist, a first-generation Filipino American, and a mother. Moreover, she is also a self-described outsider in the academy, where the norms still privilege white, straight, wealthy, cisgender men. In six personal essays, Reyes uses her experience as a jumping-off point to critique academic structures of knowledge and power, drawing on sociological analysis and women of color feminisms to shape a narrative that goes well beyond memoir. Providing insightful commentary and a fascinatingly diverse reading list in both the text and the endnotes, this volume ends with a call to action to change “how we approach our own and others’ research, teaching, and service” (p. 129), cultivating a community of care within the academy. This is a must-read book for fellow outsiders navigating the labyrinth of academic culture, and for any academic who aspires to challenge inequity.

Summing Up: Essential. Advanced undergraduates through faculty.
Reviewer: M. F. Jones, Brevard College
Interdisciplinary Subjects: Asian and Asian American Studies, Women’s & Gender Studies, Racial Justice
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Education
Choice Issue: Mar 2023

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