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Negotiating Power, Developing Trust: Transgressing Race and Status in the Academy


by Marybeth Gasman, Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin, Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, Lisa Rasheed & Karry Hathaway — 2004

Exploring the experiences of African American students engaged in doctoral studies reveals disturbing realities. In this article, we use narrative inquiry to engage in a collaborative project between two White faculty members and three African American graduate students. Transgressive pedagogy provided a conceptual framework for both our initial study and our subsequent reflections on the need to create supportive networks for graduate students of color in the academy. In the project we conversed and reflected about how our understanding of race and status had an impact on our experiences in the academy. Our study contrasted student experiences in environments in which students expressed feeling like "casualties of war" with those in which they expressed feeling like valued colleagues. We found that unspoken assumptions about race and status often created a turbulent climate for the participating African American doctoral students and White faculty members who shared values of inclusivity.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 4, 2004, p. 689-715
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11532, Date Accessed: 4/29/2017 1:35:46 AM

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About the Author
  • Marybeth Gasman
    University of Pennsylvania
    E-mail Author
    MARYBETH GASMAN an assistant professor of higher education in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Her most recent publications include Charles S. Johnson: Leadership Behind the Veil in the Age of Jim Crow (with Patrick J. Gilpin) published by SUNY Press, 2003 and ‘‘A Word for Every Occasion: Appeals by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to White Donors on Behalf of the United Negro College Fund,’’ published in the History of Higher Education Annual, 2002.
  • Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin
    University of Vermont
    CYNTHIA GERSTL-PEPIN is an assistant professor in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont. She holds a joint appointment in educational leadership and educational studies. Her most recent publications include ‘‘Media (Mis)Representations of Education in the 2000 Presidential Election,’’ in Educational Policy, 2000 and ‘‘Collaborative Team Ethnography and the Paradoxes of Interpretation,’’ (with Mike Gunzenhauser) in International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, (2002).
  • Sibby Anderson-Thompkins
    Georgia State University
    SIBBY ANDERSON-THOMPKINS is a doctoral candidate in the department of educational policy studies at Georgia State University. Her most recent publications include Securing Funding from Black College Alumni: Successful Strategies for Supporting Alma Mater (with Marybeth Gasman), published by CASE Books, 2003, and ‘‘A Renaissance on the Eastside: Motivating Inner-City Youth through Art,’’ (with Marybeth Gasman) in the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 2003.
  • Lisa Rasheed
    Georgia State University
    LISA RASHEED is a doctoral candidate in the department of educational policy studies at Georgia State University. Her most recent publication is ‘‘‘Casualties of War’: Suggestions for Helping African American Graduate Students to Succeed in the Academy,’’ (with Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, Marybeth Gasman, Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin, and Karry Hathaway) in Darrell Cleveland, Editor, A Long Way to Go: Conversations about Race by African American Faculty and Graduate Students in Higher Education, published by Peter Lang, 2003.
  • Karry Hathaway
    Georgia State University
    KARRY HATHAWAY is a doctoral candidate in the department of educational policy studies at Georgia State University. His most recent publication is ‘‘‘Casualties of War’: Suggestions for Helping African American Graduate Students to Succeed in the Academy,’’ (with Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, Marybeth Gasman, Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin, and Lisa Rasheed) in Darrell Cleveland, Editor, A Long Way to Go: Conversations about Race by African American Faculty and Graduate Students in Higher Education, published by Peter Lang, 2003.
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