Welcome to this page of handouts and resources for the upcoming presentation “Countering Imposter Syndrome and Affirming the Right to Belong.”
Designed for students and faculty, this presentation is sponsored by the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The event will be held remotely via Zoom on Tuesday, May 4th 6:00-7:30pm Central time.
How can we (researchers, mentors, advisors, educators) break systems that invalidate graduate writers and instead affirm writers’ rights to belong and contribute within higher education?
This interactive webinar is designed for EdD doctoral students and faculty and focuses on understanding and countering imposter syndrome.
Though imposter syndrome is often treated as an individual psychological phenomenon, it’s related to social conditioning and systemic injustice, including the cumulation of everyday microaggressions and epistemic injustice (experiences of BIPOC and marginalized scholars being “presumed incompetent” or “conditionally accepted”). To talk about imposter syndrome, therefore, we need to consider the related term of illusory superiority, how imposter syndrome works by design to maintain the status quo, and the question of who doesn’t experience imposter syndrome (a question taken up in Ijeoma Oluo’s Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America).
Within this framing, the workshop approaches imposter syndrome through three lenses:
- How can doctoral students (writers and researchers) use commitments, anchors, or guides for research, while knowing, building, and acting from strengths?
- How can faculty (as mentors and advisors) recognize and redress systems of harm, while affirming students’ right to belong?
- How can doctoral programs (as sponsoring units) break systems that invalidate writers as knowers and instead create cultures of commitment-driven co-learning and co-mentoring?
And my related publications (links to full-text articles) include:
- “The Trauma of Graduate Education: Graduate Writers Countering Epistemic Injustice and Affirming Epistemic Rights”
- “Writing Up: How Assertions of Epistemic Rights Counter Epistemic Injustice”
- “Asserting the Right to Belong: Feminist Co-Mentoring among Graduate Student Women”
- “Rhetorical and Pedagogical Interventions for Countering Microaggressions”
Download these handouts to use during the interactive online presentation.
- Handout — Interventions and Actions
- Handout — Writing a Commitment Statement
- Handout — K-W-L Journaling Prompt
Additional Resources and Readings
Luvvie Ajayi Jones’s “Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable” (TED Talk, 2017)
Luvvie Ajayi Jones’s Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual and this related Facebook post previewing chapter 4 “Own Your Dopeness” (Penguin, 2021)
Cedric D. Burrow’s “Writing While Black: The Black Tax on African American Graduate Writers” (Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, 2016)
Neisha-Anne S. Green’s “The Re-Education of Neisha-Anne S Green: A Close Look at the Damaging Effects of ‘A Standard Approach,’ the Benefits of Code-Meshing, and the Role Allies Play in this Work” (Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, 2016)
Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. González, and Angela P. Harris’s Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia (Utah State University Press, 2012) and Presumed Incompetent II (2020)
Shannon Madden, Michele Eodice, Kirsten T. Edwards, and Alexandria Lockett’s Learning from the Lived Experiences of Graduate Student Writers (Utah State University Press, 2020)
Mia Mingus writing for the BATJC’s “Pods and Pod Mapping Worksheet” (Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective, 2016)
Ijeoma Oluo’s Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America (Seal Press, 2020)
Kerry Anne Rockquemore’s “Overcoming Academic Perfectionism” Inside Higher Ed, series of five articles, 2012)
Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi-Ann Burey’s “Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome” (Harvard Business Review, 2021)
Connect Beyond This Workshop
I’d love to stay connected beyond this presentation! Here are some ways:
- Join my mailing list to receive regular updates.
- Join me for the upcoming workshop: “Planning Summer Writing Projects: Prioritizing Purpose over Productivity.” There are multiple registration options, including options to join for free, so please share with graduate students and others who might be interested.
- Join an upcoming writing retreat. There are currently dates into early June, and I’ll be adding more dates throughout the summer.
- Reach out with feedback or questions about this workshop.
This post is written by Beth Godbee, Ph.D. for Heart-Head-Hands.com. If you’d like additional support through graduate education, check out my writing groups, retreats, one-with-one coaching, and e-course “Career Discernment for Academics: Aligning Career with Commitments.”