* I focus on women here, because I am not sure how to do a better job of adding minorities to my syllabi. Simply put, it is far easier to identify women (although not always) than minorities via names if I don't know the people.
I focus on this rather than citations since I just finished the syllabus to one of my classes: Civil-Military Relations. For the past couple of years, I have been more aware of this stuff, so I have tried to improve the gender balance on my syllabi. Unlike journal articles where the editors might extend the word count to improve the gender balance (h/t to Dan Nexon, see the storify), a syllabus is more or less a zero-sum game. I can't add tons of new readings and expect the students to read them all (the iron law of reading assignments--the more you assign, the less they read). So, some folks do get dropped from required to recommended as I seek to improve the gender balance. I don't aim for 50%--I just aim for more.
For the stuff I teach, it tends to be not that hard to find stuff written by women. For some aspects/weeks, it is easier than others right now. Alliances? Not a problem with folks like Patricia Weitsman, Sarah Kreps, and others. For Canadian defence, tis harder. Counting pieces of required reading by whether is one or more women involved (solo or co-author), my syllabus is 37% women. I used Jane Summer's tool to see how this syllabus does: it says the authors are 28% women, 1.5% Asian, 9.2% Black, 4.2% Hispanic and 83% White. I have to get the syllabus into the library so I will send it as is, but in the next year, I will keep an eye out for work that is in this area from groups that are less represented.
Update: Using http://womenalsoknowstuff.com/experts-by-area/, I have found a bunch of women doing civil-military stuff--mostly junior profs and grad students, so I will be revising my syllabus a bit.
Why? Because it is the least I can do. It does not involve much work--mostly awareness and a smidge of self-awareness. Students are less likely to model themselves after people who are dissimilar to them, so I think it is a good thing to try. Also, when it comes to syllabi, some folks are more likely to get promoted if they can prove that their work is used in syllabi around the world. Tis harder now as many syllabi are on gated coursework sites (blackboard, webct), but not impossible. Anyhow, it seems like the right thing to do. And yes, working on this is a good way to procrastinate on the article I need to finish for the APSA meeting in late August.*
* The deadline for that (August 14th) is silly and according to this survey likely to be disrespected.
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