Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Interviews with Racialized Faculty Members in Canadian Universities

Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Interviews with Racialized Faculty Members in Canadian Universities

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper is based on 89 interviews conducted with racialized faculty at ten Canadian universities as part of the larger study of racialization at the university. The majority of respondents were in social sciences but education and engineering were also well represented in the sample. Interviews followed a loosely formulated set of questions and most interviews were conducted informally. Respondents were, on the whole, willing and even eager to discuss their experiences of racism. Racialized people know when they experience everyday racism because it is repetitive and consistent with their past experiences. However, White people often do not see it even in their own words and actions. The denial of racism is still strongly held by the more traditional members of the Academy, especially those who are influenced by a liberal ideology that unless there is the intention to be racist, it does not exist. Many racialized faculty, especially Black women, expressed their loneliness and alienation from the university, their departments, and their colleagues. Other important themes that emerged from our interviews was the emphasis in most Canadian universities on the Eurocentric curriculum and, in some disciplines, the dominance of the 'canon'; Underrepresentation of racialized faculty; Tenure and Promotion Processes which it is believed adversely affect racialized faculty; Critical, Applied and Community Research which is not valued especially for tenure and promotion purposes; Tokenism; Policies, Practices of the university in general and Senior Administration is particularly criticized because the important positions are often staffed by white men; Departmental Management is accused of being insensitive to minority faculty needs.

Resume

Cet article s'appuie sur 89 entrevues menees aupres de professeurs non-blancs de dix universites dans le cadre d'une etude plus large sur la racialisation dans le milieu universitaire. La majorite des repondants enseignait en sciences sociales, mais les facultes d'Education et d'lngenierie etaient aussi representees dans l'echantillon. Les rencontres se sont faites autour d'une serie de questions plus ou moins formatees, et la plupart ont eu lieu de maniere informelle. Les participants ont, en general, volontiers discute de leur experience du racisme. Quiconque appartient a une minorite visible sait quand il y est confronte au quotidien, parce que c'est un comportement repetitif et conforme aux experiences deja vecues. Les Blancs, cependant, nele voient souvent pas, meme dans leurs propres mots et actions. Le deni de racisme est encore fort chez les membres plus traditionnels du monde academique, particulierement chez ceux qui sont influences par une ideologie liberale, voulant que ca n'existe pas, sauf si c'est intentionnel. Une bonne partie du corps professoral racialise, notamment les Noires, a exprime la solitude et I'alienation subies a I'universite, dans leurs departements et du fait de leurs collegues. D'autres themes importants ont emerge de nos entrevues, dont I'emphase dans la plupart des universites canadiennes sur un curriculum eurocentrique ainsi que, dans certaines disciplines, la dominance du « canon », une faculte dont les membres non-blancs sont sous-representes, une recherche critique, appliquee et communautaire non reconnue--entre autres pour obtenir une titularisation ou une promotion des mesures symboliques, des politiques et pratiques de I'institution en general et de la haute administration en particulier--specialement critiquee parce que les positions importantes sont souvent occupees par des hommes blancs--et, enfin, une gerance departementale insensible aux besoins d'un personnel professoral racialise.

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The study on which this paper is based was the first of its kind in Canada to address the status of racialized and Indigenous scholars in Canadian universities. The national, multidisciplinary team of scholars whose preliminary work is included in this issue undertook a nation-wide analysis of Canadian universities with more detailed examination of about one dozen universities that represent a diversity of regions and institutions. …

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