- poem for far too many brilliant scholars, not enough of whom are with us today
social justice is soooo nineteeneightysix, but WE are committed to diversity with all our hearts and core curriculum initiatives and hiring protocols we’ve ACHIEVED equity, what we need are more kinds of people to enrich our offerings bring important perspectives to our committees and brochures to mentor the students we do not reach to reach out to the broader community to replace the ones we used to love but who, ultimately, were not good fits, took things the wrong way—the uncollegials—who told us that collegiality is always used against people of color and we said that didn’t make sense and they said it happens all the time and we didn’t think it was very collegial to say that, and they said neither is that . . . to enhance our courses to replace . . . what was her name? why didn’t she ask for help? she wasn’t happy here . . . didn’t make an effort to join in our campus culture spent all her time on outreach, too much time mentoring students who don’t even take [End Page 1] our classes, we’re sorry it didn’t work out . . . it didn’t have anything to do with— refused to listen nothing to do with— didn’t trust her colleagues nothing to do with— isolated herself nothing to do with— social justice is soooo nineteeneightysix, but this is us, now, here, and WE are committed to your diversity with all our hearts, we are committed to our commitment we celebrate your difference we treat you the same except when you’re not what we wanted. Sherrie Tucker, Feminist Theory and Music XIII, Madison, August 9, 2015
Useful citation for carrying to too many meetings (with post-it on p. 65):
Sara Ahmed, On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012), p. 65: “Diversity is more easily incorporated by the institution than other words like ‘equality,’ which seem to evoke some sort of politics of critique or complaint about institutions and those who are already employed by them. Diversity becomes identified as a more inclusive language because it does not have a necessary relation to changing organizational values. Indeed, diversity’s inclusivity might be here because it is not associated with the inclusion of minorities (the language of minorities is stickier and associated with certain kinds of social critique). . . . Perhaps the promise of diversity is that it can be attached to those bodies that ‘look different’ and detached from those bodies as a sign of inclusion (if they are included by diversity, then we are all included). The promise of diversity could then be described as a problem: the sign of inclusion makes the signs of exclusion disappear.” [End Page 2]
sherrie tucker is a professor of American studies at the University of Kansas. She is the author of Dance Floor Democracy: The Social Geography of Memory at the Hollywood Canteen (Duke, 2014) and Swing Shift: “All-Girl” Bands of the 1940s (Duke, 2000) and coeditor with Nichole T. Rustin of Big Ears: Listening for Gender in Jazz Studies (Duke, 2008). With Randal M. Jelks she coedits the journal American Studies. She serves with Deborah Wong and Jeremy Wallach as series editors for the Music/Culture Series at Wesleyan University Press.