Ji-Yoon, an Asian-American woman, is the newly appointed chair of the English department at Pembroke University, a lower-tier Ivy League school. Most of the department’s faculty are older and white and male, but do include a female white professor, Joan Hambling, clearly suffering from marginalization. There is also a young black faculty member named Yasmin McKay, whom Ji-Yoon wants to make the university’s first black tenured professor in the English department. Yaz, as they call her, has published in the top journals and is loved by her students, who flock to take her courses. There are other story dynamics dealing with issues of culture wars, the struggle of humanities in university settings dominated with 'professional' disciplines, and so forth. This review essay, going beyond a media review, offers additional reflections on the multiple ongoing tussles in work settings that go beyond just the university campuses.
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