The Implications of Our 2021 Theme: Diversity, Intersectionality, and Interdisciplinarity

Editor’s note: This article is based on the President’s Address, delivered November 20, 2021 at the 53rd Annual Convention.

When we decided on the theme for this year’s ASEEES convention a year and change ago, of course, we had no idea that questions of diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic life would become so contested right now in the United States, along with academic freedom at every level of education. We were inspired by the impressive series of Zoom events on Race in Focus that ASEEES was helping to organize in response to Black Lives Matter; today people in our profession are continuing to arrange events, work on committees, pursue research, and propose projects that address issues of race and other issues in serious, challenging, and intellectually substantial ways. If you haven’t yet read the special feature on race and bias in the Fall 2021 issue of Slavic Review, with 14 articles chosen from 60 (!) submitted abstracts, it is definitely worth your time, and please keep an eye on future numbers of the journal as well. You will quickly notice that I am not an expert on this topic, but it’s too important not to take advantage of the opportunity the traditional presidential address offers to continue the ideas from the roundtable earlier today.

Diversity and intersectionality raise many questions—let’s start with our students, who they are, and what we teach them. The institutions where many of us work rightly strive to attract a diverse group of students, and we want our own classes and our own fields to appeal to a wide range of that diverse group...

“The point here is that diverse students (like our own past selves) will bring diverse interests to their educations, and those interests can usefully update and transform what we are doing.”

To read 2021 ASEEES Board President Sibelan Forrester's address in full, click here.  


Note: This blog is laid out to be read on a phone or tablet.