Invisible and hypervisible academics: the experiences of Black and minority ethnic teacher educators

Vini Lander, Ninetta Santoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
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This article reports on a qualitative study that investigated the experiences of Black and Mi-nority Ethnic (BME) teacher educators working within the predominantly white space of the academy. In order to examine the professional experiences of 27 English and Australian ac-ademics, interview data were collected from academics with various levels of experience working in a range of institutions. We assembled a multidimensional theoretical frame that draws on critical race theory, whiteness and Puwar’s concept of the Space Invader. Findings suggest that the participants in both national contexts felt marginalised, and despite the exist-ence of policies to promote equality of opportunity, they encountered subtle everyday racism which was manifested through microagressions that contributed to their construction as simul-taneously hypervisible and invisible, and as outsiders to the academy. Vulnerability, insecuri-ty and precariousness was generated through the participants’ positioning as space invaders, not only within their faculties or schools of education, but more widely within their universi-ty, and in schools where their students are placed for practicum. This vulnerability was also borne from surveillance by students and managers. We conclude the paper by arguing the need to disrupt the everyday racism experienced by BME teacher educators through institutional monitoring of equality policy outcomes, structured career support and mentoring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Early online date7 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jun 2017


  • Black minority ethnic
  • teacher educators
  • racism
  • micro-aggression
  • whiteness
  • hypervisiblity
  • invisibility


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