11 Dec | Diversity & Inclusion

Inside the Ivory Tower: Narratives of women of colour surviving and thriving in British academia


Fantastic new book centred on the perspectives, experiences and career trajectories of women of colour in British academia.

It reveals a space dominated by whiteness and patriarchy, in which women of colour must develop strategies for survival and success. The contributors explore how their experiences are shaped by race and gender and how racism manifests in day-to-day experiences in the academy, from subtle microagressions to overt racialized and gendered abuse. The autoethnographies touch on common themes such as invisibility and hypervisibility, exclusion and belonging, highlighting intersectional experiences. 

Dr Deborah Gabriel is a Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University in the Faculty of Media and Communication, and during her academic career has lectured in journalism, politics, media, culture and communication. 
She is concerned with contributing to social justice and social change and prides herself on creative thinking and embedding her philosophy of social justice and equality as an academic across teaching, research and professional practice. Her research interests are focused around online political communication, political discourse, raced and gendered constructions and representations in media and popular culture, equality, inclusion and liberation in educational practice and the dynamics of race, ethnicity and culture in higher education.

This is a must-read for students, academics, schools, colleges, trade unions and organisations - and anyone with an interest in equality.

The testimonies of women of colour in the academy have tended to remain in the shadows, whitewashed by the structures of the Ivory Tower, dismissed as anecdotal evidence rather than acknowledged as data indicating individual and structural forms of exclusion. This timely book starkly captures what the recent metrics of under-representation of women of colour actually mean in academia. It amplifies the nuances of experience at the same time as encouraging agency in the face of tenaciously resistant-to-change systems of privileged activity. It is essential reading for anyone genuinely interested in improving the conditions of all women in contemporary higher education. --Professor Vicky Gunn, Glasgow School of Art