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On Being ‘Hen's Teeth': Interdisciplinary practices for women of color in Geography

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This paper examines the position of women of color in the discipline of geography in terms of our relatively small numbers, or what one geography professor described as being ‘as rare as hen's teeth'. Using pedagogical examples, the paper analyzes institutionalized racism and sexism at the level of the educational institution, both in geography and also in interdisciplinary locations such as gender studies. Drawing from collective analysis and interdisciplinary research, I propose interdisciplinary strategies of mentorship and support, intellectual exchange, and political engagement outside the academic context as ways to address disciplinary isolation for women of color in the field. I argue that these strategies can offer crucial alternative entry points into intellectual and political projects and can open up the discipline itself by destabilizing its structural and intellectual hierarchies and expanding the scope and relevance of geographic research. De ser ‘los dientes de gallinas': Los Costumbres Interdisciplinarios de mujeres de color en Geografía Este papel examina la posición de mujeres de color en la disciplina de geografía en cuanto a nuestras cifras relativamente bajas, o lo que describió una profesora de geografía como ser ‘tan raro como dientes de gallinas'. Usando ejemplos pedagógicos, este papel analiza el racismo y el sexismo institucionalizados en la institución educacional no solo en geografía sino en sitios interdisciplinarios tal como estudios de género. Utilizando análisis colectivo y estudios interdisciplinarios, propongo estrategias interdisciplinarias de aconsejar y apoyo, intercambios intelectual, e involucrar en las políticas afuera del contexto académico para abordar el aislamiento disciplinario para mujeres de coloren el campo. Argumento que estas estrategias podría ofrecer entradas alternativas cruciales a los proyectos intelectuales y políticos, y además, podría hacer accesible la disciplina de geografía a través de la desestabilización de sus jerarquías estructuradas e intelectuales y la expansión de la amplitud y relevancia de investigación geográfica.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The New School, New York, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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