Bianca C. Williams et al., "Plantation Politics and Campus Rebellions: Power, Diversity, and the Emancipatory Struggle in Higher Education" (SUNY Press, 2021)

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Plantation Politics and Campus Rebellions: Power, Diversity, and the Emancipatory Struggle in Higher Education (SUNY Press, 2021) provides a multidisciplinary exploration of the contemporary university's entanglement with the history of slavery and settler colonialism in the United States. Inspired by more than a hundred student-led protests during the Movement for Black Lives, contributors examine how campus rebellions—and university responses to them—expose the racialized inequities at the core of higher education. Plantation politics are embedded in the everyday workings of universities—in not only the physical structures and spaces of academic institutions, but in its recruitment and attainment strategies, hiring practices, curriculum, and notions of sociality, safety, and community. The book is comprised of three sections that highlight how white supremacy shapes campus communities and classrooms; how current diversity and inclusion initiatives perpetuate inequality; and how students, staff, and faculty practice resistance in the face of institutional and legislative repression. Each chapter interrogates a connection between the academy and the plantation, exploring how Black people and their labor are viewed as simultaneously essential and disruptive to university cultures and economies. The volume is an indispensable read for students, faculty, student affairs professionals, and administrators invested in learning more about how power operates within education and imagining emancipatory futures.

Adam McNeil is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

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