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Written/UnwrittenDiversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure$
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Patricia A. Matthew

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469627717

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469627717.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Responding to the Call(ing)

Responding to the Call(ing)

The Spirituality of Mentorship and Community in Academia: An Interview with Houston A. Baker Jr.

(p.29) Responding to the Call(ing)

Ayanna Jackson-Fowler

University of North Carolina Press

In an interview with Ayanna Jackson-Fowler, Houston Baker, Jr. reflects on the progress and challenges of diversity in and out of the academy—from his time a Yale in the 1960s to his current position as Distinguished Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. Baker, the first Black president of the Modern Language Association, discusses the shifting role the idea of “community” has played in his career and how he answered colleagues who subtly undermine faculty of color he has championed over the years. The interview concludes with his thoughts about the role of the public intellectual during turbulent times, offering advice about how young scholars can, and should, conserve their time and energy.

Keywords:   mentorship, Black Student Movement, academic communities, public intellectuals, 1960s

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