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Epistemic Exclusion: Scholarly Devaluation as a Barrier to Faculty Diversity

February 4, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Epistemic exclusion refers to scholarly devaluation that occurs when scholarship is perceived as falling outside of the “center” of the field. Such scholarship is viewed as violating disciplinary norms about what characterizes scholarly “quality” and results in the work being deemed as illegitimate and lacking value. These disciplinary norms and academic values combine with identity-based prejudice to produce epistemic exclusion. Scholars have argued that epistemic exclusion is a form of academic gatekeeping that has a disproportionately negative impact on faculty of color and other marginalized communities because they are more likely to engage in work outside of the center of a given field. In this talk, we present theory and data about the nature of epistemic exclusion, its consequences for faculty careers, and its effect on faculty diversity within institutions. We also offer strategies for addressing this type of exclusion within institutions, particularly around evaluation processes (e.g., hiring, annual review, promotion and tenure).

NiCole T. Buchanan, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University. Dr. Buchanan researches the interplay of race, gender and victimization and how they impact the nature of harassment, its impact, and organizational best practices. She also studies faculty of color and ways in which their research is marginalized (i.e., epistemic exclusion). She has been highlighted in hundreds of media outlets, is a featured speaker including TEDx and National Public Radio (NPR) and provides bias and diversity-related training and consultation (e.g., medical professionals, faculty, clinicians, human resource managers, and police departments). Dr. Buchanan is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, four divisions of the American Psychological Association (Society of Clinical Psychology, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, and Society for the Psychology of Women), and has received national and international awards for her research, teaching, and professional service.

Isis Settles is Professor of Psychology and Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. She received her BA from Harvard College and her PhD in Psychology from the University of Michigan. After working at Michigan State University for 15 years, Dr. Settles joined the faculty of UM in 2016. Using an intersectional framework, her research focuses on the experiences, perceptions, and consequences of unfair treatment (e.g., sexual harassment, racial discrimination) directed at devalued social group members (e.g., racial minorities, women). Dr. Settles is a fellow of the Society for the Psychology of Women, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation.


February 4, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Category:


MI United States

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