Smiling to their faces:Emotional labour, race and the university
Academia often proudly promotes the self-conception that the university community is post-race, or is exempt from the daily effects of implicit bias and racism because it cultivates scientific knowledge, the life of the mind, and scholarly objectivity. In fact, academia is an environment in which racial dynamics play out in an exacerbated fashion, in no small part due to the relatively small proportion of faculty of colour in North American universities. Recent scholarship, such as Joseph and Hirshfield (20I0), notes that this underrepresentation leads to ‘cultural taxation’ that places added expectations on faculty of colour to perform beyond their white counterparts. This Roundtable will be centrally concerned with making these invisible forms of labor visible, especially ’emotional labour.’ As an example of emotional labour, Moore (2008) points out that students of colour in elite law schools “must manage their emotions and the ways in which they choose to express them in order to negotiate the contradictions between their experiences in a racialized space and the institutional norms that equate objectivity with cairn, disconnected emotive responses.” We want to expand and extend how we think about the emotional labour of faculty of colour, how that labour ultimately benefits educational institutions, how it shapes the lives and careers of faculty of colou, and what kinds of structural and institutional change would be necessary to make colleges and universities more equitable intellectual, social, and work environments.