Disrupting Trauma Tourism in Diversity Workshops and Scholarship Essays: A Participatory Study Describing Counternarratives by Queer, Trans, and Students of Colour.
This research is supported by a fall 2020 Residential Research Group Fellowship Grant from the University of California-Irvine’s Humanities Research Institute and a spring 2020 mini-research grant from Portland State University’s Office of Academic Innovation.
Global South Scholars in the Western Academy: Harnessing Unique Experiences, Knowledges, and Positionality in the Third Space
Sexual minorities -- Political aspects, Psychic trauma -- Cross-cultural studies, Memory -- Social aspects, Sex discrimination, Minority college teachers, Graduate students, College teachers
When scholars critique the exploitation of traumatic conditions, they generally focus on international development agencies that advertise traumatic stories and historical sites of violence to increase charitable giving. Our chapter explores how such exploitation strategies are extended to international higher education institutions. We criticise diversity workshops and scholarship essays that exploit students’ traumatic stories and tokenise the very students it supports. The purpose is to describe how sharing traumatic stories in university spaces negatively impacts queer, trans (transgender), Black, Indigenous, and students of colour (QT/BIPOC). We use Martin’s Speaking for Ourselves Action Research (SOAR) design that begins with central questions answered by co-authors, then coded, and finally analysed collaboratively. We found that QT/BIPOC students critique university diversity spaces for essentialising them. We argue that trauma tourism exists in higher education’s diversity workshops and scholarships. We suggest ways that universities disrupt tokenisation by honouring, instead, minoritized students’ cultural wealth.
© 2022 Óscar Fernández and chapter contributing authors.
Locate the Document
Non-PSU affiliate link: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003109808-14
Fernández, Óscar, et al. “Disrupting Trauma Tourism in Diversity Workshops and Scholarship Essays: A Participatory Study Describing Counternarratives by Queer, Trans, and Students of Colour.” in Martin, S.B., & Dandekar, D. (Eds.). (2021). Global South Scholars in the Western Academy: Harnessing Unique Experiences, Knowledges, and Positionality in the Third Space (1st ed.). Routledge.