Evaluating Feminist Research

The National Women’s Studies Association released a report I’ve only just gotten around to reading (it’s a short piece, which I didn’t realize ahead of time — would have eliminated my excuses for not reading it). It’s an excellent summary of how feminist scholarship gets assessed and a realistic appraisal of what still needs to be done. Particularly interested in its observation about how “too often terms like ‘rigor’ and ‘excellence’ mask narrowly conceived evaluative measures tied to systems of power that have and continue to exclude white women and people of color from the tenured or full professor ranks” (6).

But I wonder about the extent to which “rigor” and “excellence” (now acknowledged as pretty capricious criteria) are giving way to the cynical objectivism of assessment and evaluation (twice removed from capricious criteria and propped up by algorithms).

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