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An important book for academics to read

Gutiérrez y Muhs, Gabriella, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. González, and Angela P. Harris. “Presumed incompetent: The intersections of race and class for women in academia.” University Press of Colorado (2012).

This is an amazing book. It’s quite long, so it took some commitment to finish it. I recommend it for women BIPOC, but I also recommend it for everyone who is interested in the academy. I think I should read the last chapter a couple of times, and consider how I am called to change the world.

There is actually a second volume, but I don’t yet have access to it. If that becomes possible, I am all in.

I read this because I am going to be a new book proposal. The topic is disabled faculty and multiple identities.

A meditation on race, power, and privilege

I have benefited from being white, heterosexual and Christian. I am aware that I have benefited from settler colonialism. I have also benefited from being a second generation academic. When I got my first academic library job I had come home. The idea of privilege was a tremendous shock when I first encountered it. I have, however, accepted it and continue to examine what I can do to break the cycle.

My privileges are nuanced by being disabled. I acknowledge the privilege of being what is called “high functioning.” I have spent my life correcting folks who applaud and suggest that this is due to something I or my parents did right. That is a smack in the face to people who are more heavily impacted by CP. To be upright and a walker is simply the way that I am.

I also acknowledge the gift of writing. Being able to write and publish is rewarded by my profession. I need to acknowledge that it is a gift and I am not a better person than someone who struggles to write.

Reading platforms and accessibility

I have written about this off and on over the years, but I don’t know if I have shared on the issue of print or digital here recently. I have been an early user of e-books since I got my first e-book.It was on a palm pilot, and it was Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat.” It was at that moment I discovered that I could read hands free. I didn’t have to hold it open.

Over the years I have adopted e-books because paper books were heavy and cumbersome. Yet sometimes I read paper books if I cannot get the book in question digitally.

Fast forward to doing research in a pandemic. I got a book from my local public library in March. I began to freak out about whether it was carrying germs. I bought an e-book of the same title from Amazon.

I have once again revisited the power of hands free. E-books are also available to do text to speech.They can be enlarged and manipulated, which makes them available to people with visual impairment. There are a wide range of material available.

It’s important to acknowledge that print is useful. We are at a moment that many people treasure books. Please enjoy It’s a book. It does not require power, and it’s easy to share.

I need to continue to read print books occasionally. Unfortunately there are still books that are being produced that only available in print. I find myself wondering when this will stop. When I do my next book proposal, I have selected a publisher that offers printed books, but also makes the content available digitally for free. Pacific University Press

Please read the current issue of C&RL News


What really called to me was Mountains to climb: Leadership for sustainable change in scholarly communication by Jon E. Cawthorne. It’s an important call to action for all of us. The author highlights “How to be an antiracist” by Ibrahim X. Kendi, which I have already written about here.There is so much here that we can all learn from.

There are many articles in this issue that are worth reading and really learning from.

My thanks to the folks who put it together.

A book that I think everyone should read

Darity Jr, William A., and A. Kirsten Mullen. From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century. UNC Press Books, 2020.

This was not an easy book for me to read as a white person. The brutality of slavery, and it’s follow up, which is best described as American Apartheid, requires swallowing some difficult truths. I believe that a debt is owed. We need radical change in order to create a just and equitable society. Please read this book.

Going virtual, the good and the bad

Carter, Angela, Tina Catania, Sam Schmitt, and Amanda Swenson. “Bodyminds like ours: An autoethnographic analysis of graduate school, disability, and the politics of disclosure,” in Negotiating Disability: Disclosure and Higher Education ed. Stephanie Kerschbaum, et.al. (University of Michigan Press, 2017): 95-113.

I decided to highlight this book chapter because the authors speak as disabled graduate students who were from disparate locations.  They decided to collaborate virtually on this article.  They reminded me  about how much I have appreciated, both in my job and my personal life, the ability to participate virtually.  I am mobility compromised, and I no longer drive. It would be really difficult for me to go some of the places that I have reached out to virtually. That really speaks to remote work eliminating many of the barriers for disabled people to participate in the workforce.

They also discuss the fact that online is not a perfect solution. Our country suffers from a very serious digital divide. This is not only about access to technology devices, but is also about infrastructure and a very uneven grid of access.  If we are going to seriously engage in remote work, and remote leaning, we have to address the digital divide.

What am I currently reading? (August 3, 2020)

I got distracted from the projects of last week, because a library hold arrived.

Darity Jr, William A., and A. Kirsten Mullen. From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century. UNC Press Books, 2020.

They got my attention in the acknowledgements:

“To our sons — members of the fifth generation born since slavery was outlawed — and to our ancestors we have identified who were born enslaved and lived to see emancipation.”

This is one of the most profound statements of the profound damage that American Apartheid has done to all of us. I cannot even begin to imagine what it means to be a person of color. It is time for true change. I recommend this book with all my heart.

(Thank you to NYPL.)



What I have been exploring, doing Summer reading.

I finished the book I mentioned in my last post:

Case, Kim, ed. Deconstructing privilege: Teaching and learning as allies in the classroom. Routledge, 2013.

This is collection of papers, so each chapter is really a separate unit. As indicated in the title, the general topic was teaching privilege ie. getting students to think about privilege. Very worthwhile.

Taylor, Sonya Renee. The Body is not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 2018.

This is a quick read. The author says some really important things about intersectionality and the importance of radical self acceptance. As a disabled person, I really connected with many of the things she said.  I recommend it. An important reminder to stop apologizing for my body.

Boyle, James. The public domain: Enclosing the commons of the mind. New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press, 2008.


I haven’t finished it yet. His reasoning is dense and complicated. I am taking careful notes, in order to follow his reasoning.  I am reading this because I began to feel the connection between OER and social justice.  It’s also important, for accessibility reasons. (As an example, I am currently not reading anything that I cannot get digitally.)





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