The Necessity of Rep Scholars and Scholarship
By Christina Greer, Fordham University, Lincoln Center
So much of academia is shrouded in a thin layer of secrecy. How do we navigate coursework, successfully pass comprehensive exams, create a dissertation proposal, select a committee, cultivate letter writers, apply for outside fellowships, prepare cover letters and applications for the job market, successfully defend the dissertation, and negotiate our first job offer? To my knowledge, there is no blueprint, codebook, or manual, especially for scholars of color who have to carve out unique spaces of resilience in historically white institutions, many of which are less than welcoming and “Ground Zero” when it comes to microaggressions and racially hostile environments—both intellectually and emotionally. For many young academics, the articles and books by race, ethnicity, and politics (REP) scholars serve as a balm for the cruel realties of the hollowed halls of academia. In addition, the networks of REP scholars serve as an additional safety net for some (and lifeline for others) as they attempt to survive and thrive in academic institutions.