Invisible and hypervisible academics: the experiences of Black and minority ethnic teacher educators

Vini Lander, Ninetta Santoro

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This qualitative study investigated the experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) teacher educators in England and Australia working within the predominantly white space of the academy. Data analysis was informed by a multidimensional theoretical framework drawing on Critical Race Theory, whiteness and Puwar’s concept of the Space Invader. Findings suggest the participants in both national contexts felt marginalised, and encountered subtle everyday racism manifested as microaggressions that contributed to the academics’ simultaneous construction as hypervisible and invisible, and as outsiders to the academy. Vulnerability, insecurity and precariousness was generated through the participants’ positioning as space invaders within the university and borne from surveillance by students and managers. The paper argues that despite long-standing Equal Opportunity policies tenacious racism in the academy must be disrupted through structured career support and mentoring for BME staff and wider staff development on implicit bias and everyday racism.

© 2017, Taylor & Francis. The attached document (embargoed until 07/12/2018) is an author produced version of a paper published in Teaching in Higher Education uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2017


  • Black minority ethnic, teacher educators, racism, micro-aggression, whiteness, hypervisiblity, invisibility

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