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  • Global Development
  • Department of Global Development
  • Communication

Seminar in Critical Development Studies hosted by Cornell Global Development, the Graduate Field of Development Studies, and the Southeast Asia Program (SEAP)


Many enter the academy with dreams of doing good; this is a book about how the institution fails them, especially if they are considered "outsiders."

Tenure-track, published author, recipient of prestigious fellowships and awards—these credentials mark Victoria Reyes as somebody who has achieved the status of insider in the academy. Woman of color, family history of sexual violence, first generation, mother—these qualities place Reyes on the margins of the academy; a person who does not see herself reflected in its models of excellence.

This contradiction allows Reyes to theorize the conditional citizenship of academic life—a liminal status occupied by a rapidly growing proportion of the academy, as the majority white, male, and affluent space simultaneously transforms and resists transformation. Reyes blends her own personal experiences with the tools of sociology to lay bare the ways in which the structures of the university and the people working within it continue to keep their traditionally marginalized members relegated to symbolic status, somewhere outside the center.

Reyes confronts the impossibility of success in the midst of competing and contradictory needs—from navigating coded language, to balancing professional expectations with care-taking responsibilities, to combating the literal exclusions of outmoded and hierarchical rules. Her searing commentary takes on, with sensitivity and fury, the urgent call for academic justice.

About the speaker: 

Victoria Reyes is Associate Professor in the Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies at University of California, Riverside. She studies culture, borders and empire and is author of the multiple award-winning book Global Borderlands (2019, Stanford University Press). Her most recent book, Academic Outsider: Stories of Exclusion and Hope, was published in July 2022 by Stanford Briefs, an imprint of Stanford University Press.


Women's Resource Center
Department of Sociology
Feminist Gender Sexuality Studies
American Studies Department

Date & Time

October 14, 2022
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Speaker, Victoria Reyes

More information about this event.

Contact Information

Jenna LaMendola

  • JLaMendola [at]


Victoria Reyes, Associate Professor, University of California, Riverside


Department of Global Development

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