A Syllabus for Surviving Academia as a Woman of Color

Lorgia García Peña

Haymarket Books (May 31, 2022)

Trade paper • ISBN-13: 9781642595680 • US $14.95 • 5.5 in x 8.5 in • 120 pgs.


A meditation on freedom making in the academy for women scholars of color.

An inspiring personal testimonial woven with political analysis, Community as Rebellion offers a meditation on the possibilities of creating spaces of freedom within the university for students and faculty of color who often experience violence and unbelonging due to the colonizing, racializing, classist and unequal structures that sustain academia and the university.

Sharing stories, personal reflections and experiences, the author invites the reader—in particular Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian women—to engage in liberatory practices of boycott and abolition to contrast the university’s tokenizing and exploitative structures that shape our experiences in the academy, and hinder our possibilities of survival and success. Paired with radical community building, these practices are necessary for survival, they are critical for fighting back a system that destroys us. One key site of freedom making in the university is the classroom. Meditating on teaching ethnic studies, the author invites teachers to think about activism and social justice as central to what she calls “teaching in freedom,” a progressive form of collective learning that prioritizes subjugated knowledge, silenced histories and the epistemologies that come from the Global South, from Indigenous, Black and brown communities. By teaching in and for freedom we not only acknowledge the harm that the university has inflicted on our persons and our ways of knowing since its inception, but also create alternative ways to be, to create, to live and to succeed through our work.


Community as Rebellion is a must read for anyone serious about confronting institutional racism, sexism, and elitism. Lorgia Garcia-Pena, one of her generation’s most brilliant scholar-activists, challenges us to confront academia as a ‘colonial and colonizing’ space as the first step toward resistance and transformation. Her own experiences undergird her analysis and serve as a powerful call to action.”

Barbara Ransby, author, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision

“Unflinching, brilliant, and absolutely necessary. In these pages, Lorgia Garcia Peña shares her experiences – and others’- to reflect on what it means to be “the stranger” in academia: that sole symbol for diversity that still remains an outsider.  Unwavering in its clarity and compassion, this powerful book reminds us that true belonging comes from actively building communities unafraid to center care and rebellion. Everyone should read this.”

Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King, shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize

“With characteristic clarity, courage, and conviction, Lorgia Garcia-Peña draws on her remarkable history as an engaged scholar and committed activist to demonstrate the necessity of living in community and accompanying others as keys to both personal liberation and social transformation.” 

George Lipsitz, author of The Possessive Investment in Whiteness

“What does it mean to teach for freedom?’ Dr. García Peña asks and boldly beckons us toward its practice across the policed borders of discipline, nation, theoretical traditions, and entrenched racial categories. A capacious thinker, rigorous researcher, brilliant activist, and path-breaking scholar, Dr. García Peña calls on us not simply, as she writes, to “mind the historical gaps” for long-subjugated stories but alerts us to the ways these gaps have been historically mined in extractive ways in the service of colonial projects and neoliberal calls for diversity. Her astonishing work gathers us under its broad canopy to plot and persevere toward communal rebellion and renewal.”

Deborah Paredez


Lorgia García is a first generation Latinx Studies scholar. Dr. García Peña is the Mellon Associate Professor of Race, Colonialism and Diaspora Studies at Tufts University. She studies global Blackness, colonialism, migration and diaspora with a special focus on Black Latinidad. Dr. García Peña is the co-founder of Freedom University Georgia and of Archives of Justice (Milan-Boston). Her book The Borders of Dominicanidad (Duke University Press 2016) won the 2017 National Women’s Studies Association Gloria Anzaldúa Book Prize, the Isis Duarte Book Award in Haiti and Dominican Studies and the 2016 Latino/a Studies Book Award. She is the author of Translating Blackness (Duke University Press) and the co-editor of the Texas University Press Series Latinx: The Future is Now. She is a regular contributor to The Boycott Times, Asterix Journal and the North American Council on Latin America (NACLA).


Please contact subagents for the following languages and territories:

Language/Territory Subagent
China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and VietnamBig Apple Agency
DutchSebes & Bisseling Literary Agency
English outside North AmericaDavid Grossman Literary Agency
FrenchDeborah Druba Agency
GermanPaul & Peter Fritz AG Literatur Agentur
GreekRead n' Right Agency
HebrewThe Deborah Harris Agency
ItalianThe Nabu International Literary Agency
JapaneseThe English Agency (Japan) Ltd
KoreanBC Agency, or Korea Copyright Center
PortugueseRIFF Agency
Russia/Baltics/Eastern EuropePrava I Prevodi
Scandinavia Sebes & Bisseling Literary Agency
Spanish in Latin AmericaInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
Spanish in SpainInternational Editors' Co., S.A.
TurkishAnatolialit Agency

For all other languages/territories, please contact Roam Agency.