In the comments section of my post, "On being a shy introvert in academic philosophy", a commenter, Paula, wrote:
I'm assuming the OP presupposes the shy/introverted person he is advising is white? I think for those of us who are non-white, but especially black, this might be a lost cause. For those of us who are black and in predominantly white environments, it can feel almost impossible to approach a professor or peer even if we tend not think of ourselves as introverted! (I currently have this problem. The assumption is, "P is so shy!" when really there is racial intimidation and discomfort at play.) Now add shyness/introversion to this and boy have we got an issue!
It would be interesting to see a perspective on this from a black philosopher who has found a way to thrive in philosophy departments despite being introverted.
Although it was not my intent to presuppose anything about readers, I think Paula raises very good points: namely, that (A) my experiences may not be (and presumably are not) representative of different points-of-view, and (B) it might be worthwhile indeed to hear more about different perspectives on these and other similar issues.
Now, I actually tried to start a new series to this effect a couple of years ago, inviting people to share, "What it is like to be [fill in the blank] in philosophy." However, aside from my own post, "What it is like to be a VAP", the series never really got off the ground (I never received any submissions!). Perhaps now, however, would be a good time to try again. As such, I would like to invite Paula and any other interested academic philosophers who would like to share their experiences in the discipline to submit posts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am happy to post what I receive either publicly (under the author's name), but also anonymously (if the submitter does not wish to disclose their identity). The only requirement is that posts respect the Cocoon's safe-and-supportive mission statement. My hope is that we can, indeed, present a diverse array of perspectives here at the Cocoon--so again, if you have a perspective you would like to share with the Cocoon, by all means, please do let me know! :)