Battles for occupied academic space
Keywords:women, academia, colonized space, institutional racism, intersectionality, women's studies, critical race theory, CRT, institutional frameworks, mentoring, leadership
For women, sharing space, being acknowledged in that space, is a battle of trust and spirit. Academic spaces have previously been colonised, either by the leader in charge, or a previous ‘owner’ of that space. This presentation and paper describes three common intersectional narratives of Williams’ (1991) ‘spirit murder’; and the ‘protectors and restorers’ (Revilla, 2021) of our space in the academy. Women are battling to occupy their work spaces on a daily basis: trying to speak, teach, research in ways they have organically invented and conceived in their service. They are the caretakers of diverse and different languages, and innovative methods to research and teachings; yet these divergent pathways are often blocked by colonised, ‘expected’ practices within the institution. Even the physical grey and white walls are concrete signs of ownership. The Academy is a place we are in; where we have a right to be in (Sefa Dei, 2021). Trusting and accepting these unique differences is at the heart of moving forward to a more inclusive, rich research and teaching space. Just because a pathway or method is distinct, does not mean it is deficient. For educational leaders, acknowledging shared ownership in the academic space involves sharing and projecting one’s self into the space (Kreger,1999); trusting that, while an approach is unknown, can be successful. To redress space in the academy, educators must be at ease with the discomfort of sharing space in what has yet to be experienced and institutionalised.
Aboagye, E. & S. N. Dlamini (Eds). (2021). Global Citizenship Education: Challenges and Successes. University of Toronto Press.
Beckford, C., C. Cobb, Y. Daniel, P. Petahtegoose, K. Roland, G. Salinitri & K. Smith. (2017). Strengthening experiential education and social justice through global education, internationalization and community service learning at the University of Windsor. In D. Petrarca & J. Kitchen’s (Eds.) Initial Teacher Education in Ontario: The first year of four-semester teacher education programs. CATE: Canadian Association for Teacher Education Polygraph Book Series (09). 243-262.
Bishara, M. & Ashai, N. (2015). A tale of two parts. Our Schools, Our Selves: Constellations of Black Radical Imagined, 24(3): 25-30. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (ISSN 0840-7339).
Dweck, Carol S. (2006). Growth Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.
Hampton, Rosalind. (2022). Plotting Black Studies in Canada. [Unpublished] Distinguished Speaker Series in Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Pedagogies. University of Windsor. February 5, 2022.
Kreger, Suzan. (1999). In, Nicotera, A.M. The Woman Academic as subject/object/self: Dismantling the illusion of duality. Communication Theory, 9(4): 430-464. Oxford University Press. p.438. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2885.1999.tb00207.x
Murray, Uisdean (Dir). (2021). Mara: The Seal Wife. Retrieved from: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/marathesealwife
Revilla, A.T. (2021). Attempted Spirit Murder: Who are your Spirit protectors and your Spirit restorers? The Journal of Educational Foundations, 34(1): 31-46.
Sefa Dei, George J. (December 10, 2021). ‘Race, Indigeneity and Anti-Colonial Education: Making discursive links.’ Retrieved from:
Sinclair, M. (2015). The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Winnipeg, Manitoba. 62.
Williams, P.J. (1991). The Alchemy of Race and Rights: The diary of a law professor. Cambridge, MT: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674014707 Retrieved from: https://www.google.ca/books/edition/The_Alchemy_of_Race_and_Rights/47MNRIA50gwC?hl=en&gbpv=1&printsec=frontcover
Copyright (c) 2023 Kara Smith
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice has made best effort to ensure accuracy of the contents of this journal, however makes no claims to the authenticity and completeness of the articles published. Authors are responsible for ensuring copyright clearance for any images, tables etc which are supplied from an outside source.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.