In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Introduction
  • P. Gabrielle Foreman

The pieces included in this forum extend a discussion about subtle but collectively powerful structural outgrowths of racism and sexism in the academy. As its authors echo past calls by scholars such as Barbara Christian, Nellie McKay, Frances Smith Foster, and Ann duCille, this forum and “A Riff, A Call, and A Response” (Legacy 30.2)—the essay that occasioned it—bring to the fore just how consistently power refuses to concede its privileges even in the midst of iterative demands, as eloquent or clamorous as they may be. But not to pose these issues (again) is to betray the intellectual and academic labor that has made our collective work possible. The authors included here hope that the breadth of examples and patterns they highlight will be taken up by departments, deans and hiring committees, organizations, archives and associations, presses and those who review for them, editors, conveners and funders, dissertation directors, mentors, and peers, as well as by the scholars who organize and attend conferences and symposia. What does a responsible cultural ethics call for and look like? What, when it comes to race and representation, sex and power (and all of those nexuses’ logical and ethical extensions and alliances), are, as Kimberly Blockett writes, the interconnections between “individual praxis and institutional best practices” (63)? This forum addresses these questions as a call for self-reflection, accountability, and protocols (Foreman 307) that lead us out of—and not back into—a labyrinth whose center is the status quo and whose well-worn paths are the ever-changing same. [End Page 58]

P. Gabrielle Foreman
University of Delaware

Works Cited

Blockett, Kimberly. “Do You Have Any Skin in the Game?” In “Forum: A Riff, A Call, and A Response.” Ed. P. Gabrielle Foreman. Legacy 31.1 (2014): 63–65.
Christian, Barbara. “But What Do We Think We’re Doing Anyway: The State of Black Feminist Criticism(s) or My Version of a Little Bit of History.” New Black Feminist Criticism, 1985–2000. Ed. Gloria Bowles, M. Giulia Fabi, and Arlene R. Keizer. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 2007. 5–19.
duCille, Ann. “The Occult of True Black Womanhood: Critical Demeanor and Black Feminist Studies.” Signs 19.3 (1994): 591–629.
Foreman, P. Gabrielle. “A Riff, A Call, and A Response: Reframing the Problem That Led to Our Being Tokens in Ethnic and Gender Studies; or, Where Are We Going Anyway and with Whom Will We Travel?” Legacy 30.2 (2013): 306–22.
Foster, Frances Smith. “The Personal Is Political, the Past Has Potential, and Other Thoughts on Studying Women’s Literature—Then and Now.” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 26.1 (2007): 29–38.
McKay Nellie Y. “Naming the Problem That Led to the Question ‘Who Shall Teach African American Literature?’; or, Are We Ready to Disband the Wheatley Court?” pmla 113.3 (1998): 359–69. [End Page 59]