Woman smiling.“I have always had a deep interest in the notion of space- whether it’s a color in a room, or the lighting, or how interactions change when people are sitting next to each other and talking as opposed to across from each other. So in this chapter, I basically am making a case for why it will be useful to use a lens and a language of space in order to understand and address issues of diversity on college campuses- particularly racial diversity.”

– Dr. Michelle Samura on her contribution of Chapter 9: Architecture of Diversity

The exciting new text, Transforming Understandings of Diversity in Higher Education: Demography, Democracy & Discourse, examines one of the most important and yet elusive terms in higher education and society: What do we mean when we talk in a serious way about “diversity”?

A distinguished group of diversity scholars explore the latest discourse on diversity and how it is reflected in research and practice. The chapters trace how the discourse on diversity is newly shaped after many of the 20th century concepts of race, ethnicity, gender and class have lost authority. In the academic disciplines and in public discourse, perspectives about diversity have been rapidly shifting in recent years. This is especially true in the United States where demographic changes and political attitudes have prompted new observations—some which will clash with traditional frameworks.

Check out Dr. Samura’s interview with the sponsoring organization, the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity

Transforming Understandings of Diversity in Higher Education brings together nine scholars whose research has opened up new ways to understand the complexities of diversity in higher education. Because the essential topic under consideration is changing so quickly, the editors of this volume also have asked the contributors to reflect on the paths their own scholarship has taken in their careers, and to see how they would relate their current conceptualization of diversity to one or more of three identified themes (demography, democracy and discourse). Each chapter ends with a candid graduate student interview of the author that provides an engaged picture of how the authors wrestle with one of the most complicated topics shaping them (and all of us) as individuals and as scholars. Of interest to anyone who is following the debates about diversity issues on our campuses, the book also offers a wonderful introduction to graduate students entering a discipline where critically important ideas are still very much alive for discussion.

 Other contributing scholars are:
• Dr. Uma M. Jayakumar, University of San Francisco
• Dr. Jarrett T. Gupton, University of Minnesota
• Dr. Michael R. Woodford, Wilfrid Laurier University
• Dr. Angela M. Locks, California State University, Long Beach
• Dr. Allison Lombardi, University of Connecticut
• Dr. Jerlando F. L. Jackson, University of Wisconsin
• Dr. Tamara Nichele Stevenson, Westminster College
• Dr. Courtney Carter, Mississippi State University

*Majority of Blog Content provided by Stylus Publishing

Bonus: Check out this Panel Discussion with contributors of Transforming Understandings of Diversity in Higher Education: Demography, Democracy & Discourse.

“The question that I’m posing in my chapter is “What might we be able to better understand about racial diversity and any form of diversity on college campuses through a spatial lens or spatial perspective?”

– Dr. Michelle Samura on her contribution of Chapter 9: Architecture of Diversity