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Reviews

"Deepening academic and activist conversations on the neoliberal university by bringing an intersectional woman-of-color critique to critical university studies, feminist analyses of higher education, and research on the academic lives of women of color in higher education, this astute book is the first to offer a detailed, layered, and specific understanding of Black academic women's position in the restructured university. Dr. Nzinga shows that Black women are 'contingent' even before they enter the university. Lean Semesters offers a complex understanding of how the political economy of the university actually works, making this book a theoretical and activist game changer. It will alter the field and move it forward."

"This original and necessary book maps the lived impact of neoliberalism and names the opaque ways in which the market practices of contemporary higher education institutions are compounding inequity for Black women in the twenty-first century. Readers will find themselves traveling the invisible trails and listening to the hushed conversations that Nzinga and her colleagues have had to follow on this unpublished map. Lean Semesters will stay with me forever."

"Relevant and timely! Nzinga exposes the structural injustices within higher education systems that indebt, exploit, and delegitimize Black women academicians. Lean Semesters centers the experiences of Black women in academia and should be required reading for all individuals undertaking higher education diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives."

"This empirically driven work illustrates the physical, economic, and psychological effects of the implicit and explicit biases and elitism of higher education, especially for Black faculty and Black graduate students. The research courageously exposes the 'graduate school to food stamps pipeline' that too many women of color experience, especially as they are increasingly hired as contingent faculty rather than in the secure tenure track positions that are filled predominantly by white persons. That this harm is happening today in institutions that are teaching and training the future leaders of society should raise alarms and be a clarion call for institutional change."