Suggested Readings

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Steering Committee (DEIS Committee) along with the Center for Teaching and Learning recommend the following readings for faculty members who wish to learn more about issues of diversity and inclusion.

Click each title below for more information.

Expand All / Collapse All

Ahmed, Sara. (2012) On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
What does diversity do? What are we doing when we use the language of diversity? Sara Ahmed offers an account of the diversity world based on interviews with diversity practitioners in higher education, as well as her own experience of doing diversity work. Diversity is an ordinary, even unremarkable, feature of institutional life. Yet diversity practitioners often experience institutions as resistant to their work, as captured through their use of the metaphor of the "brick wall." On Being Included offers an explanation of this apparent paradox. It explores the gap between symbolic commitments to diversity and the experience of those who embody diversity. Commitments to diversity are understood as "non-performatives" that do not bring about what they name. The book provides an account of institutional whiteness and shows how racism can be obscured by the institutionalization of diversity. Diversity is used as evidence that institutions do not have a problem with racism. On Being Included offers a critique of what happens when diversity is offered as a solution. It also shows how diversity workers generate knowledge of institutions in attempting to transform them.
Aries, Elizabeth. (2008) Race and Class Matters at an Elite College. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
In Race and Class Matters at an Elite College, Elizabeth Aries provides a rare glimpse into the challenges faced by black and white college students from widely different class backgrounds as they come to live together as freshmen. Based on an intensive study Aries conducted with 58 students at Amherst College during the 2005-2006 academic year, this book offers a uniquely personal look at the day-to-day thoughts and feelings of students as they experience racial and economic diversity firsthand, some for the first time. Through online questionnaires and face-to-face interviews, Aries followed four groups of students throughout their first year of college: affluent whites, affluent blacks, less financially advantaged whites from families with more limited education, and less financially advantaged blacks from the same background. Drawing heavily on the voices of these freshmen, Aries chronicles what they learned from racial and class diversity and what colleges might do to help their students learn more.
The Chronicle of Higher Education. (2016) In Context: Race on Campus
In Context: Race on Campus (pdf)
Colleges across the country are gripped with questions of racial inclusivity as students demand more recognition, more support, and more change. Their demands and protests draw attention to continuing racial disparities in higher education, where African-Americans make up a small portion of professors, presidents, and selective-college enrollments. This collection of recent news and commentary from The Chronicle can provide a starting point for discussion of what might be done to improve the climate and conditions on your own campus.
Steele, Claude. (2011) Whistling Vivaldi. New York, NY: Norton & Company.
"In Whistling Vivaldi, renowned social psychologist Claude M. Steele addresses one of the most perplexing social issues of our time: the trend of minority underperformance in higher education. With strong evidence showing that the problem involves more than weaker skills, Steele explores other explanations. Here he presents an insider's look at his research and details his groundbreaking findings on stereotypes and identity, findings that will deeply alter the way we think about ourselves, our abilities, and our relationships with each other." "Through dramatic personal stories, Steele shares the researcher's experience of peering beneath the surface of our ordinary social lives to reveal what it's like to be stereotyped based on our gender, age, race, class, or any of the ways by which we culturally classify one another. What he discovers is that this experience of "stereotype threat" can profoundly affect our functioning: undermining our performance, causing emotional and physiological reactions, and affecting our career and relationship choices. But because these threats, though little recognized, are near-daily and life-shaping for all of us, the shared experience of them can help bring Americans closer together.