Women of color in the academy are frequently underrepresented, marginalized as scholars, and undermined as teachers. While there has been a great deal of literature attesting to the sundry obstacles facing women faculty of color (WFOC) as educators, most have focused on challenges that arise when teaching undergraduates, especially in "male-dominated" STEM disciplines. Comparatively less scholarship has explored the classroom climate of PhD seminars in so-called "female-dominated" disciplines. Even less has examined potential interventions to improve postgraduate education in ways that can benefit WFOC and students. This paper presents an autoethnographic account of my use of tactics adapted from the watershed activist-organizing text Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds to improve classroom dynamics in PhD seminars. I compare my experience in two feminist-oriented courses taught at a large public university—one a "typical classroom" and the other an "emergent classroom." Findings indicate that using tools from Emergent Strategy can temper masculinist biases that exist in many graduate classrooms, including those that serve to undermine WFOC. I conclude that structuring seminars as "emergent classrooms" can mitigate some of the more troubling white and male biases impacting WFOC in graduate seminars.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 185-207
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.