Ropers-Huilman, B. (Ed.) (2003).
higher education: Critical perspectivesfor change.
Albany: State University ofNew York Press.
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Gender, Race, and Millennia! Curiosity
Ana M. Martinez Aleman
In this chapter, the significance and importance of a raced deliberation of gen-
der in higher education scholarship is considered. The failure of higher educa-
tion research and scholarship to explore the many ways gender and race are
interdependent and dynamic elements of identity and thus significant for the
development of consciousness and conduct are examined. Given the continued
and growing participation of all women in post-secondary education, continu-
ing to disregard gender's racial details and distinctions in higher education
research and scholarship is a dangerous trend for this new millennium.
When asked to contemplate for the pages of the
New York Times Magazine
the prospects for the twenty-first century, noted author Stanley Crouch sur-
mised that "race, as we currently obsess over it, will cease to mean as much 100
years from today" (Crouch, 1996, p. 271). Crouch speculated that the "interna-
tional flow of images and information" would change the realities of lives on
the planet, realities that will reflect a material reshaping and ideological recon-
struction of race. Crouch rightly predicts (given the demographics of immi-
gration, migration, diaspora, exile, interracial births, and the real and virtual
collapse of cultural and national borders) that how Americans have come to
know and understand race, how our behaviors have been shaped by this con-
sciousness, will be a historic curiosity.
What is absent from and implied by Crouch's prognostication is itself a
"curiosity" of gendered significance. Crouch's view of "race," not unlike those of
other writers and scholars of this century, is an experiential schema free of the
complications presented by gender. He submits us to an account of "race,"
meaningfully constructed within present and future politics, that is apparently
free of experiential interruptions and that is somehow independent of the ef-
fects of gender and gender relations. The realities that will be recast by
Crouch's ideological shift in the twenty-first century appear to have no sexual
or gender differences, no positions within consciousness other than the specter
of "race." Implicit in this view, then, is the supposition that "race" is and will be
similarly experienced by all, that such an experience is and will continue to be