Before I offer my reflections, I want to thank both Roderick Ferguson (Professor of African American and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago) and Brent Edwards (Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University) for making room in their busy summer schedules to help facilitate the first Mentoring Future Faculty of Color (MFFC) dissertation workshop. Thanks also to Herman Bennett (Professor of History at the Graduate Center, CUNY) for helping us organize this event, and of course to the Office of Educational Opportunity and Diversity Programs (OEODP) and the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC) at the Graduate Center, CUNY for contributing the funds that made this workshop possible. Last but not least, I want to thank my co-conspirators in the Mentoring Future Faculty of Color project for dedicating their time and energy to planning this event and, more importantly, for agreeing to share pieces of their truly exciting work.
This dissertation workshop was a rare opportunity to participate in a critical conversation about our research with established scholars of color. Professor Ferguson and Professor Edwards engaged us in a discussion about what it means to frame and write a dissertation, asking tough but important questions about exigency, methodology, and text selection. The comments and suggestions I received on the opening pages of my first chapter will be a great resource as I move forward with writing (and revising) my work. It was a rewarding experience to be able to discuss my project among such a supportive group and to receive candid advice about framing my dissertation, especially as I begin to think about navigating the job market.