World’s most intersectional academic job advertised at Williams College

August 20, 2023 • 9:30 am

Here’s what appears to be a genuine job ad at Williams College, which has for a long while been swirling around the event horizon bordering an academic black hole (no knowledge can be emitted). The ad is genuine because it’s on the site of The Chronicles of Higher Education. 

Click on the screenshot below to see the full ad, including what you have to submit when you apply.. The job begins on July 1 of next year, and it’s the most intersectional ad I’ve ever seen.

I’ll leave for readers to react and comment on their own, as it’s almost a parody of the times. The bolded first paragraph is from the original.

Rank open professor in Queer of Color Critique, additional interest in Disability Studies/Crip Theory, and/or Feminist Technoscience Studies, and/or Migration

The Program in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies seeks a professor of Queer of Color Critique, field open, ideally with interdisciplinary scholarship. We also especially welcome those with additional interests in Disability Studies/Crip Theory, Feminist Technoscience Studies, and/or Migration Studies. Preference will be given to candidates at the level of associate or full professor, but candidates with PhDs in hand by August 2024 will be given full consideration.

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) is an interdisciplinary program designed to encourage students to focus critically on gender and sexuality. Many of our courses investigate how assumptions about gender and/or sexuality operate in society, shaping feminine, masculine, transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer identities, and how they influence social and political structures. Integral to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is the idea of intersectionality – that (amongst other axes of identification) race, ethnicity, class, ability, nationality, and religion are important factors in any critical understanding of gender and sexuality.

WGSS has existed in some form at Williams for over 30 years. Women’s Studies was formalized into a program in 1983, and name changes over the years have reflected increasing attention in the interdisciplinary field to issues of gender and sexuality studies. We have offered a major since 2002, and have graduated over 300 majors and concentrators since the program was established.


The candidate should be able to teach introductory courses, including WGSS 101 and a Foundations in Sexuality Studies seminar in addition to electives. The teaching load is two courses per semester (2-2) plus a January winter term course every other year. We are especially interested in candidates from historically underrepresented groups whose scholarship and teaching contribute to the breadth and excellence of our academic community. In addition, Williams offers faculty participation in the college’s professional development program First3 and in the NCFDD Faculty Success Program, and support through the newly established Rice Center for Teaching. Information about the department and current curriculum can be found at:

That’s what it says, though I didn’t know that “Crip Theory” was a thing, nor do I know what “Feminist Technostudies” or “Migration Studies” entail. It just goes to show how far behind the times I am.

Here’s what’s at the bottom of the ad:

We acknowledge that Williams College stands on the ancestral homelands of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohicans. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors past and present.

Whenever I see something like this—and it’s de rigueur at Williams College—my impulse is to shout (or write in capslock): IF YOU REALLY HONOR AND RESPECT THE NATIVE AMERICANS WHOSE LAND YOU’VE STOLEN, EITHER GIVE IT BACK OR PAY FOR IT!  If all that’s forthcoming are land acknowledgments and not a penny of compensation or a square inch of returned land, then what we have here is hypocritical flaunting of virtue.

Oh, and what are “present ancestors”?

74 thoughts on “World’s most intersectional academic job advertised at Williams College

  1. Setting aside the “studies” aspect of this position, the ad sounds like one produced by an academic unit whose members can’t agree on what they want. I went through that process many times when I was part of a disfunctional department of biology back in the last century.

    1. “A camel is a horse designed by a committee.” – old joke.

      “Candidates with PhDs in hand” – this is insensitive toward persons without hands. Ableism pure and simple.

  2. Give the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohicans their land back, and then negotiate a contract to lease the land in order to run the college. Alternatively, bulldoze the college, restore the land back to its original form, and then give the land back along with a negotiated package of reparations. An empty land acknowledgement is simply colonialism by another name. Actually it’s worse. It’s colonialism while pretending to be the opposite. Can it really get any more cynical than that?

    1. Take care in the bulldozing to also remove damaging impositions of western culture (specifically : germ theory, and electrickery) such as power, water and drainage (sewage and rainfall) infrastructure.
      It would be most insulting to force the people retaking control of the land to accept such foreign ideas. If they want such things, they can damned well put them in themselves, with the appropriate placation of spirits and blessing of the water pipes.

  3. I’m a 68-year-old straight white male with no formal education beyond high school — therefore if they are “especially interested in candidates from historically underrepresented groups” for this position they would be hard pressed to find a better applicant than me!

    1. Peter, I encourage you to apply. But first you have to establish sufficient queerness, simply having blue hair will not cut it.

  4. That is remarkable, I was just reading about “crip studies” which is (I guess!) synonymous with “dis/ability studies” or “disability studies”.

    “crip”! What a word!

    A reference and excerpt:

    “Disability is normatively understood through the gaze of medicalisation: that process where life becomes processed through the reductive use of medical discourse. This is not to say that medicine necessarily limits our thinking about disability. Indeed, as Couser (2011) comments, medicine has given many (disabled) people their lives. Simultaneously, medicine ‘tends to demystify and naturalise somatic anomaly, stripping away any supernatural or moral significance and characterising physical variation solely as a matter that science may investigate and attempt to remedy’ (Couser, 2011: 23). ”

    Goodley, Dan. Dis/ability Studies. Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition, p. 4.

    It must be read to be believed. I just re-read it now [and again, and again] and can’t believe it.

    I should note, I am finding this on James “Conspiracy Theorist” Lindsay’s New Discourses. I am not affiliated at all, I find Lindsay’s analysis useful.

    1. My first thought was that Crip was the study of the Latino gang, and wondered why the Bloods were not included. Are they still a thing? Can I use the term Latino? I don’t keep up.

      1. Careful. If you call a Crip a Latino, you may make him a tad bit upset. The Crips are African American. Pretty sure they don’t like being compared to the competition

  5. There must be hundreds, no, thousands of qualified applicants that will apply! I wonder how many on the diversified committee (which include Mohicans) will spend hours and hours selecting the correct applicant. /sarcasm

    1. First test : did the cheque clear?
      Second test : check the skin colour of the supplied limb to fall within tolerances (be careful to not write down the requirements, except as Pantone/ Munsell reference codes – 2.5YR 6/2 and the like). All applicants will obviously have a detached limb available, or be willing to detach a limb, to live the “Crip” experience.

  6. Suggestion for the course:

    Laboratory sections.

    You know, to explore the generative themes, in a hands-on lived experience.

  7. “…how far behind the times I am…”. You and me both, brother. My wife does not allow me to offer academic advice to our grandchildren because she says that their world is so different from the one in which I had some modicum of success fifty years ago. As a borscht belt comedian once said: “the world is a tuxedo and I am a brown pair of shoes”.

    1. Hubris is one thing – but self-sabotage is another.

      If wisdom is brown shoes then let it be so, unapologetically….

      … but brown flip-flops with white socks would require thought reform, I regret to point out.

    1. Yes, that, too, but shouldn’t it be “practicum open” or something like that? I thought we couldn’t used the “f____d” word anymore.

  8. Still another demonstration of two phenomena. (1) Let some form of word salad—from
    Michurinism to Critical Blah Blah Studies—into the formal structure of academe, and it will expand without limit. (2) After a few years of such expansion, parody (in the vein of Titania McGrath) becomes superfluous.

    I submit a third point as a hypothesis. In the galaxy far away, the downfall of Michurinist word salad began when the fraudulence of Lysenko’s farm/institute in the Lenin Hills was
    exposed. Maybe the entire DEI bureaucratic structure (erected quickly in 2015-18) was
    designed to protect the current Critical Blah Studies charades from exposure.

  9. This is another exponent of “xxx-studies”. No serious science is involved. A plainly political, and ridiculous, post is advertised. How low has US academia sunk?
    We’re worried about the destruction of NZ science with this MM, but the US appears not much better. And I fear Europe is not far behind.

  10. As for the Wokespeak terms “Queer of Color Critique” and “Crip Theory”:

    “QUEER OF COLOR CRITIQUE: Queer of color critique is a critical discourse that began within the U.S. academy in response to the social processes of migration, neoliberal state and economic formations, and the developments of racial knowledges and subjectivities about sexual and gender minorities within the United States. It was an attempt to maneuver analyses of sexuality toward critiques of race and political economy. As such, the formation was an address to Marxism, ethnic studies, queer studies, postcolonial and feminist studies. Queer of color critique also provided a method for analyzing cultural formations as registries of the intersections of race, political economy, gender, and sexuality. In this way, queer of color critique attempted to wrest cultural and aesthetic formations away from interpretations that neglected to situate those formations within analyses of racial capitalism and the racial state.”


    What a nonsensical “intersectional” hodgepodge!

    “CRIP THEORY: A strand of critical cultural analysis that, alongside ‘queer perspectives and practices’, has ‘been deployed to resist the contemporary spectacle of able-bodied heteronormativity’, as Robert McCruer (Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability, 2006) puts it. Dominant conceptions of able-bodiedness in sport are vulnerable to critique in the sense that they have often matter-of-factly assumed the ideal body to be the platform for and pinnacle of sporting excellence. The term ‘crip’ emerged in disability movements, as an adaptation and reworking of the derogatory word ‘cripple’; as McCruer states, the term’s ‘positive valences are…multiple’. Crip theory and practice entails sustained forms of coming out, and the recognition that another, more accessible world is possible in which disability is no longer the raw material against which imagined and sometimes liberationist worlds are formed. Crip theory has its own radical and critical agenda, draws much upon personalized narratives, and has generated illuminating readings of films and other popular cultural forms. It is likely that a crip-based reading of the relationship between able-bodied and disabled sport, or between the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games, would be discomfiting reading for sport administrators and organizers.”


        1. Initially I misinterpreted crip theory as somehow related to gang warfare as in the Crips vs the Bloods

          How odd I thought but then thought maybe it is valid as none of it makes sense so it is perfectly reasonable to be part of the intersectionality whirlpool.

          Poor students will be dumber after the course than they were initially. Quite an achievement for an education system.

          1. “Crip” is probably short for “crippled”. Which is strange because I thought that “crippled” is considered a very offensive term.

    1. “… draws much upon personalized narratives…”

      So, lived experiences, or as I call them, anecdotes and subjective opinions, doubtless larded with jargon and references to other equally tendentious authors.

      1. “Lived experience” is one of a dozen or so methods for shutting down reasoned debate, along with forced apologies and confessions. It’s a power move.

  11. The ad used the word “field”. That is racist. USC says that it is racist. Williams college is overtly and unabashedly racist.

      1. Offensism will not be tolerated.

        It will be repressively tolerated :

        “Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.”
        -Herbert Marcuse
        Repressive Tolerance

    1. I noticed:

      “Pedagogy: The study of teaching and learning.”

      See? Six words.

      I find that peculiar – in the extreme.

      1. Sorry, your problem with pedagogy is?
        I got used to the word appearing in regular speech when the wife (a trained teacher of English, in Russian) was struggling to find an English (well, Greek) equivalent for her course of педагогя. (Speelung?) It was one of the early examples I realised of “Oh, Russian has just lifted the word from Greek.”

        It’s probably a more generally useful topic than that underwater basket (or string bag) weaving.

    2. There is another funny word in the Wokabulary I didn’t know: “audism” (not “autism”!): “The notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or to behave in the manner of one who hears.”
      By the way, do you know what’s really bad: somersaultism = the notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to do somersaults. I demand equity for those who lack this ability! 😉

  12. An intersectional job that produces no useful knowledge at least did not restrict the race, ethnicity, sex, gender ID, sexual orientation, or (dis)ability of people who could apply, as this is illegal in the United States. In Canada, by contrast, academic jobs that are supposed to produce useful knowledge critical for society’s safety and success, like professors of engineering, now routinely specify that only various indulged minorities may apply. Some ads have appeared here on WEIT. I’m honestly not sure which is worse. I do see why there is resentment about taxing (or devaluing) the wages of American truck drivers (or even tech moguls) to forgive debt run up for majors (!) in Queer of Color Critique.

    As for the land acknowledgement, it doesn’t sound as if Williams College actually means anyone should return any land, certainly not Williams College. They are just acknowledging that someone else used to roam freely over it, and now can’t, not even the “present ancestors” because the College is in the way, complete with locks on the doors that it will not open at 3 a.m. to allow free passage to indigenous wanderers. But even if they did deed the land back to the Mohicans (and if the Mohicans wanted it), this would not count as “returning” land. It would still be sovereign U.S. territory, on which U.S. law still applied. The tribe would be merely a fee simple owner, just as it might own a bowling alley in downtown Williamstown. It might still be the territory of the State of Massachusetts as, to my understanding, only the federal government can create a “sovereign” Indian nation separate from the state. And the state and the municipality would baulk at the financial and tax implications of that transaction.

    What the “1492 land back” movement really wants is for the governments of Canada and the United States to cede sovereignty to them as Nations where their own law would apply exclusively on the ceded land and Canadian or American law would not. How much? Why not all of it? Naturally no government can ever agree to do this as it could mean that Canadian and American citizens living in that land who were not indigenous could be ethnically cleansed by their new rulers. That’s what “decolonization” means. Do land acknowledgements pave the way to that? Let’s hope not. But if someone wants you to make a land acknowledgement, they probably have a motive.

    1. “They are just acknowledging that someone else used to roam freely over it, and now can’t, […]”

      That isn’t all. They state, clearly (bold added):

      “We pay honor and respect to their ancestors past and present.”

      How do they “pay”? What could one do, to “pray” – woops, typo – I mean “pay”?

      Hmmm, what could that be, whereby a congregation – oops, I mean, administrators -, show “honor”, and “respect”, to … ancestors… that are no longer alive…

      Hmmm…, where have we seen that? How does that work? Hmmm…

      1. Good catch. Yes, “pay” activates the spidey-sense that a green initiative might be forthcoming.

    2. All good points Leslie.

      “In Canada, by contrast, academic jobs that are supposed to produce useful knowledge critical for society’s safety and success, like professors of engineering, now routinely specify that only various indulged minorities may apply.”

      Many such cases.

      “Pursuant to Section 42 of the BC Human Rights Code, preference will be given to candidates who self-identify as Indigenous and will bring to this role knowledge that comes from the lived experiences of those underrepresented in higher education, particularly the experiences of Indigenous persons.”

      No mention of how self-identification will be adjudicated, or what kind of indigenous identity will be a qualification. One presumes Turtle Island only need apply.

  13. Readers here have met crip theorists before

    I was getting ready to criticize the Gender Studies department at Williams for graduating a paltry 300 majors and concentrators in 21 years. But the department web page lists only 1 professor, 1 lecturer, 2 visiting assistant professors (= non-tenure-track sessionals or adjuncts I guess), and 1 nonacademic staff person. I guess it costs <$300,000 per year altogether to run that department, so turning out ~15 majors per year is a relatively good ROI compared to, say, the English department at my university that has ~30 faculty members, all tenured (~half are full professors) and making six figures, but graduates only about 100 majors per year.

    1. It would be right and proper to criticize any such department for graduating anyone at all, or even for existing.

      1. All I’m saying is there’s a market for this scholarship, and Williams College seems to be responding to that market with a nimble, agile Women’s Studies department that’s delivering the goods with strong ROI from strategic investment in intellectual assets. /s

        [edited to say “Hey, the edit button is back!”]

    1. Luana Marjora : “It doesn’t need to exist in Nature.”

      Just when I thought there was no more insight… it’s regarding the reverse appeal to nature fallacy.

      Boghossian : “epistemic chowder”


    2. Just one more note :

      Comparing chimpanzee to human : she points out that living outside of the constraints of Nature is creationism. (t ~ 37:47).

      I find that an astonishing insight.

      And 36:20 – (paraphrase): why “on Earth” – in all societies – would differences explained by sexual selection be a social construct?… if I got that right…

      OK, thanks again for letting me go on an on.

      Go listen to it all!

      1. Attempting to

        [live] outside of the constraints of Nature

        is an invitation to live outside the constraints of, e.g. gravity, by parachuting without a parachute, or the constraints chemistry by breathing water. Or 0.02% v/v hydrogen sulphide in air.
        Parachuting sans parachute I’ve not tried – but I know well the feeling of the rope coming tight after a brief excursion into free fall. Un-fun.

  14. It’s all grifting. What does a young person do with a degree in WGSS? Well, the lucky ones hustle an academic gig teaching the next crop of future batistas. Mom and dad shelled out $160K so their precious – daughter? son? are the allowed to ask? – can spend the day asking “Can I get a name for that order?”

    But PhD in hand (Aug’24) at least this one person need not mingle with the hoi polloi.

    1. I think there’s something to that.

      The first world has solved or managed many of its problems: security, poverty (to a significant extent), illiteracy, and more. For the most part, quality of life is adequate to high and life expectancy is long. These factors enable a surplus of talented people who are not engaged in solving actual problems. This talent finds meaning in part by creating imaginary problems and building industries supporting them. Today’s DEI industry is one result. The Professor of Queer of Color Critique is another.

      There may indeed be an overproduction of talent feeding a range of dubious endeavors. Consider Grievance Studies in all its forms. Grievance has no bounds, so grievance studies at colleges and universities risk growing without limit. It’s overproduction of something I know not what.

        1. Nietzsche : “curdled envy” – a bitter resentment –

          The sorta talented graduate looking up the ladder at college drop-outs Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg… or others which reveal sharp differences between talent and good employment, sorta thing…

          Complicated, but I can see it would make good conditions for grievance to grow.

  15. “Present ancestors” could be shorthand for “People alive today who will be ancestors of future generations”. Or it could be “all ancestors present and accounted for”. Or, it could be like those who present food in offering to ancestors. Or, it just might be that someone keeps body parts of ancestors in their closet, like Catholic relics. Or…

    1. These days, I’d expect the parsimonious interpretation of “ghosts”.
      This is “modern” America, after all. (Unless W&M is in Canada. I’d have to check, but I hope Canada hasn’t drifted into this fœtid swamp.

  16. Here’s ChatGPT’s suggested application letter:

    My academic journey has been defined by a deep engagement with questions of identity, social equity, and the intersections of various marginalized experiences. My research and teaching philosophy align seamlessly with the ethos of your program. In my work on Queer of Color Critique, I have explored how race, gender, and sexuality intersect, shaping unique narratives of identity and activism. By collaborating with communities and centering their voices, I have developed a nuanced perspective that honors diverse lived experiences.

    Moreover, my interest in Disability Studies/Crip Theory stems from a commitment to challenging ableism and promoting inclusivity. Through my research and engagement, I have been able to foster important conversations about the cultural, social, and political dimensions of disability. This background equips me to contribute to your program’s commitment to diversity and accessibility.


    I’ve left out several paragraphs in a similar vein to avoid breaching Da Rools.

  17. It’s one thing to produce a large amount of jargon in a field. But I can’t help wondering why these post modern theorists seem so attracted to selecting the ugliest words possible whenever they can.

    1. I think that the entire field is mostly jargon. They have very little of substance to say so they imitate more rigorous disciplines by larding their output with jargon.

  18. Stanley Fish explains the political logic behind disability studies (crip theory) in general and “anti-audistic” deaf studies in particular:

    “Deafness appears, it is said, as a defect only against the background of a norm that has been put in place not by nature but by history. It follows then, argues Lennard Davis, editor of The Disability Studies Reader, that “the problem is not the person with disabilities; the problem is the way that normalcy is constructed to create ‘the problem’ of the disabled person.” “There is no ‘handicap’ to overcome,” insists Tom Humphries of the University of California, San Diego. Paddy Ladd, a British advocate of Deaf culture, draws the moral: “Labeling us as disabled demonstrates a failure to understand that we are not disabled in any way within our own community,” and the implicit question he asks is, who is to say that your community is better than ours? I. King Jordan of Gallaudet University drives the point home: “People who come to our campus and who do not know sign language are communicatively disabled” (PMLA, March 2005).

    The logic of that question is the logic that has driven all the anti-discrimination movements of the last 120 years. A minority (deaf activists view themselves as a linguistic minority) is regarded by the mainstream as defective, impaired, criminal (Italians and Irish in the nineteenth century), inferior (Asians and blacks), immoral (gays, polygamists, and gypsies), lacking in mental or physical resources (women until only recently), and either less or more than human (X-men and Jews).

    Within the minority community, the conviction grows that its stigmatization is the result not of “natural” deficiencies but of a politically established norm that serves the interests of the powers that be. Exposing that norm as a mere artifact of history with no special claim to authority means first that it is no longer obligatory to honor it, and second, that the community’s norms are worthy of both loyalty and protection. What was once seen as a deviation or something to be eradicated is recharacterized as a culture, and in a short time the culture has a lobby and is demanding respect, representation, and even reparations for opportunities denied and rights withheld. The formerly shunned but now legitimized community opens cultural centers, galleries (think of graffiti artists), museums, historical archives, and soon it is being courted by the very mainstream constituencies that for so long accorded it only a negative recognition.

    This could happen to any group; for once the norm has been relativized (you have yours, we have ours; why can’t we just get along), there is no obvious way to declare a way of life beyond the pale.”

    (Fish, Stanley. /Think Again: Contrarian Reflections on Life, Culture, Politics, Religion, Law, and Education./ Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015. pp. 49-50)

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