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71 Six years ago The old guard resented Deb Young from the very day she entered her position as chair of the Department of Anthropology. Young insisted that faculty give a complete accounting of their research travel. She made certain that everyone taught a Monday-­ Wednesday-­Friday course at 8:10 a.m. once every three years, and that candidates for promotion to full professor be judged only by other full professors. Most offensive to the status quo was her diversification of the department . In her first year she hired Roxanne and Tony. The second year she hired two African American women. Then the third year she scored what would have been a coup at any other university: she convinced a preeminent cultural anthropologist from Harvard, who happened to be Black, to teach as a visiting professor for one year. Several months after arriving at CHU, Roxanne overheard Jerry Langstrome in the mailroom. “Badger probably screwed someone good to get this offer,” said Jerry. He was surprised when he saw Roxanne peek around the corner, but regained his smirk. “Don’t get defensive, Roxy,” Jerry said, looking her up and down. “Take advantage of it.” Then he walked out. Roxanne yelled after him to come back and give an explanation, but he kept on going. “Hey now,” said a voice behind her. Roxanne turned to see Ben Rogers, a tanned, thick-­ haired Peruvianist. His pumped-­ up biceps looked bronzed against his baby-­ chick yellow golf shirt. “Don’t get too upset by those guys. They have problems of their own. Don’t take it personally.” Rogers smiled big and fiddled with his wedding band. He smelled of warm cologne. “If you need anything, let me know.” He touched Roxanne gently on the arm before turning to retrieve the mail from his box. At Roxanne’s first departmental retreat, the faculty divided into clusters of five to talk about upcoming issues. Instead of focusing on their assigned topic, what color carpet to install in the faculty lounge, Rhonda Cartwright blurted out to Roxanne in her high-­ pitched voice, “You have more travel funds than we do.” 72 An excitable personality, Rhonda dressed the part of an applied forestry professor. She wore long skirts and baggy sweaters, thick slouchy socks, and Teva sandals. She was perpetually sunburned, with chapped lips and premature wrinkles framed by thin brownish hair. Her specialty was earth mother goddesses in indigenous cultures. “For God’s sake, Rhonda,” Roxanne replied. “I’m giving papers at three conferences, all in one week. For your information, the Ford Foundation Conference of Fellows is in between two of them and is footing most of the bill for my transportation.” “Well, see! The department still has to pay for some, and it cuts into trips some of us really need to take.” “What did I just say, Rhonda? I’m saving the department money. I’m also making it look good. For a change.” Rhonda stood up so fast she turned her chair over. She stormed out the door, the soles of her Tevas whacking the floor. “Anyone else want to accuse me of something? Now’s the time to do it,” Roxanne said. “Enough,” a voice said from the breakfast buffet table. The group turned to Paul Deerbourne, a Regents’ Professor two years away from retirement. He’d published at least thirty articles on Khufu’s Great Pyramid, had written a text on Egypt’s Old Kingdom (the royalties paid for the addition on his house), and received enough fellowship money to travel to Africa at least twice a year. “Come off it, Paul,” said fifty-­ two-­ year-­ old Leo Harding. He wore a religious-­ looking beard but no moustache and tried to hide his slick head by combing long hairs over his balding pate. In contrast to Deerbourne, who spent his energy writing, Harding preferred to devote his time to campus committees. “Roxanne has no business talking to Professor Cartwright like that.” “Yes, yes,” said Ben Rogers, the Peruvianist who had visited Peru once in his career. “Remember though, that it’s easy to produce conference papers when you have time off.” The tall, fit man with perfect posture and a strong jaw was referring to Roxanne’s Ford Foundation fellowship. Frank Smithers, the San Ildefonso potsherd specialist, said, “I could publish a lot too if I got favored treatment.” Smithers was flabby and obese, 73 and styled his thick curly red-­ blond hair in an Afro. He dressed in...


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