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I Have Been Waiting

I Have Been Waiting: Race and U.S. Higher Education

Jennifer S. Simpson
Copyright Date: 2003
https://doi.org/10.3138/9781442675940
Pages: 256
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/9781442675940
  • Book Info
    I Have Been Waiting
    Book Description:

    While much progress has been made towards the quest for racial equality in the education system, there is still much work to be done. In'I Have Been Waiting', Jennifer Simpson pays explicit attention to the ways in which systems of higher education have excluded people of colour, and how white students and teachers might better address issues of race and racism in educational settings.

    Simpson's argument is wide-ranging and incisive. She examines the role of history and the link between racial agency and racial memories; she probes epistemology, claims to authority, and the limits of a knowledge base that draws primarily on what white people know; she analyzes cross-racial dialogues - including barriers and steps to implementation - to reveal the prevalence of assimilationist approaches; and she reiterates the importance of making whiteness visible.

    Methodologically, Simpson draws heavily on autoethnography and social analysis, but also provides an excellent historical overview of the issues central to race and higher education, as well a rigorous examination of theoretical discourse from fields including pedagogy, whiteness studies, and feminist thought.'I Have Been Waiting'is an important work, confirming that sustained attention to issues of race in higher education is both difficult and necessary. Suitable for course use, each chapter addresses a particular challenge in the area of race and education, and offers practical guidelines for those interested in anti-racist change. An appendix provides discussion, questions, exercise, and assignments.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7594-0
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. CHAPTER ONE Introduction: Race and Higher Education
    (pp. 3-24)

    When discussing how race is or is not present in our scholarship and in our classrooms, agreement rarely comes easily. Students and teachers alike have a range of views on the relationship of race to learning objectives and topics. People in higher education have not resolved issues such as affirmative action, identity politics, cultural competence, and racial representation on faculties and in classrooms. Such issues invite a range of often intense and always conflicting responses, and discussion about these topics in public settings, such as classrooms and meetings, can be strained. Often, the most honest and lengthy conversations continue after...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Resisting ʹSympathy and Yet Distanceʹ: The Connection of Race, Memory, and History
    (pp. 25-62)

    Current cross-racial work always exists in the context of cross-racial history. That is, relationships among cross-racial groups of people are not isolated from the past; they never stand alone, beyond the reach of history. Rather, the reality of racism, historical and present, is present in our relationships with people of color in the best of situations: when we have known a particular person of color for years and socialize with her regularly; when we have coffee with a man of color who is a colleague in our department; and in routine interactions with people of color at our university, at...

  7. CHAPTER THREE We Are Not Enough: Epistemology and the Production of Knowledge
    (pp. 63-116)

    How do those in higher education construct knowledge about gender and race? Most feminists consider that they know gender, but how do we know race, and how do we use that knowledge? Careful consideration of what knowledge consists of, who has access to its production, and how it is produced is critical to cross-racial work in higher education. Close examination of knowledge is also a necessary step toward answering the considerable critique from women of color of European American feminist theories and the knowledge we produce.

    Feminists have worked hard to bring women’s knowledge and priorities to the forefront of...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR The Challenges and Possibilities of Cross-Racial Dialogue
    (pp. 117-154)

    Cross-racial dialogue is one way of negotiating the difficult topics of race and racism. Particularly in the interests of different practice, the ability of cross-racial groups of people to talk to each other is a fundamental necessity. Dialogue can also be a critical component of the development of knowledge at all levels of higher education. Dialogue encourages a useful exchange of ideas. People involved in dialogue routinely assert, question, wonder, offer, challenge, doubt, disbelieve, disagree, and begin again. Dialogue among groups of people, however focused or broad the group might be, is certainly a cornerstone of social change.

    At the...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE ʹRacism Is Not a Theoryʹ: Race Matters in the Classroom
    (pp. 155-196)

    This book has firmly located the practice of cross-racial dialogue in higher educational settings. Classrooms, publications, university administrations, and the production of knowledge are all arenas in which people make choices that are connected to race. Which texts a teacher includes as required reading, the material and assignments included in a course syllabus, the objectives of our writing, who universities hire, and the assumptions present in our theorizing are all connected to specific ideas about race.

    Often, standard university textbooks contain one or two chapters or as little as a few pages on cultural issues, such as gender, race, and...

  10. Appendix: Discussion Questions, Exercises, and Assignments
    (pp. 197-216)
  11. Notes
    (pp. 217-240)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 241-254)
  13. Index
    (pp. 255-263)