Wednesday, March 23, 2016

ISA 2016 Not So Trivial Game

I was asked by a friend at the ISA the following question: name a couple of female women of color who are full professors and scholars of IR.

And I was flummoxed.  I had no names to give.  I did ask around at the ISA and tended to get one or two names.  With a bit of crowd-sourcing on twitter and somewhat broad criteria, we have three:
Who am I missing?  I asked around at the ISA, and I didn't get any other names than the top three.  If we only include American schools, that is it.  For now.  I am sure there are some others out there, maybe at liberal arts colleges.

But it points to the larger problems: that there are still not that many women who are full professors as there is the leaky pipeline that means that women who enter the field may not make it to the highest rank; and there are not that many people of color in IR.  Those that do enter political science are often directed to, pardon the phrase, ghettos of either race and ethnicity in American politics (and those folks don't tend to engage the comparativists who do ethnic politics stuff) or some area of the world with which they are identified.  Even when one does not go that direction, they still get pushed:
 My friend is of Chinese descent so when she serves on her program's admissions committee, she is asked to look at the files of for those interested in Chinese politics even though she has never studied it nor is all that interested in it. 
So, while there are more women doing IR and more tenured women, there are few at the most senior levels and very few who are not white.  So, women of color have few role models and mentors.  And that sucks.

This page has been and will be updated as people tell me what I missed/messed up.

Update:  Thus far, the new names listed tend to be post-positivist people and/or mostly area studies people.  One thing my friend noticed is that people of color are expected to study "their" region so we have few people who have never written about the part of the world with which they are identified.  Some things to think about.  Oh, and so far, the new names are Asian-Americans but no Latinas and only the three African-Americans that started the list.  So, there are some role models but not many.


Unknown said...

Here's what you (and anyone reading this blog) can do:

Check out and realize there are a lot of women who also know stuff.

Cite the work of female colleagues and colleagues of color in your work.

Serve as a mentor to new female colleagues and new colleagues of color.

Diversity makes us all smarter (not my idea, it's the title of an article in Scientific American).

jonneke said...

Shampa Biswas at Whitman; Sheila Nair NAU

Steve Saideman said...

Thanks. Prof. Biswas is still an associate professor according to the website, but Prof. Nair is now added to the list.

jonneke said...

I believe that website may be outdated. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Kanchan Chandra at NYU, who also does ethnic conflict.

Steve Saideman said...

I didn't include Prof. Chandra because she is a comparativist. My focus here is on IR.

Gunhild said...

I see some of the comments here are including suggestions regarding rectifying the situation. Perhaps in a follow-up blog you would consider sharing what measures you are familiar with (including those that your commenters have posted) or that you are doing yourself, or that you would recommend? It is very useful to hear from established, well-positioned academics as to what they themselves are doing to move institutions forward.

Steve Saideman said...

Sure, I will be writing a follow up in the next few days. And crowdsourcing solutions would be a good start. The hard part is that Full is so far away, so how do we get more women and more people who are currently underrepresented into the pipeline and then make sure that the pipeline does not leak. Or if it leaks, it selects out those people who are the problems...