Word of the Week: Nepotism

As in: “However, for others, politics has been equated with corruption, nepotism, and patronage politics. For them, the struggle has been to redefine politics in a new way in order to allow women to seek political office” (Tripp, Casimiro, and Kwesiga, 2009, p.101).

 Tripp, A. M., Casimiro, I., & Kwesiga, J. (2009) African women’s movements: Changing political landscapes. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

For definitions of nepotism, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

Word of the Week: Galvanize

As in: “Then, Josephine Ruffin circulated amongst subscribers to her Woman’s Era copies of a hostile letter from the white male president of the Missouri Press Association to the secretary of the Anti-Lynching Society of England, ridiculing and casting doubt upon all black women’s virtue. This letter helped galvanize black women to organize in their own defense” (Parker, 2010, p.192).

Parker, A. M. (2010). Articulating rights: Nineteenth-century American women on race, reform and the state. Dekalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press.

For definitions of galvanize, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

Word of the Week: Truant

As in: “It happened I couldn’t find in all my books

more than a picture and a few words concerning

the trout lily, 


so I shut my eyes,

And let the darkness come in

and roll me back.

The old creek


began to sing in my ears

as it rolled along, like the hair of spring,

and the young girl I used to be

heard it also,


as she came swinging into the woods,

truant from everything as usual

except the clear globe of the day, and its

beautiful details.” (Oliver, 2004, p.12).


Oliver, M. (2004). Why I wake early. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

For definitions of truant, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.



Word of the Week: Impinge

As in: “The decline and fall of these civilizations, according to Toynbee, was not caused by external invasions but by internal decay. They failed to respond creatively to the challenges impinging on them. If Western civilization does not now respond constructively to the challenge to banish racism, some future historian will have to say that a great civilization died because it lacked the soul and commitment to make justice a reality for all men.” (King, 2015, p.83). 

King, M. L., Jr. (2015). The radical king. C. West (Ed.). Boston, MA: Beacon Street Press.

For definitions of impinge, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.




Word of the Week: Stevedore

As in: “His name was now forming on the lips of cleaning ladies and laborers, gamblers and seamstresses, postal workers and stevedores scattered all over South Central who wanted a doctor they could relate to, the humble and exuberant people who would eventually become the foundation of everything he would ever do in Los Angeles and among the most loyal people ever to enter his life” (Wilkerson, 2010, p.259). 

Wilkerson, I. (2010). The warmth of other suns: The epic story of America’s great migration. New York, NY: Random House.

For definitions of stevedore, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.



Word of the Week: Recapitulated

As in: “A discourse celebrating the 250th anniversary of Providence’s origins recapitulated the story of Canonicus and Miantonomi’s free gift, and suggested that a monument be erected to them as had been for [Roger] Williams, its author evidently having missed the dedication of the Canonicus monument in Providence just four years before ” (O’Brien, 2010, p.69). 

O’Brien, J. (2010). Firsting and lasting: Writing Indians out of existence in New England. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

For definitions of recapitulated, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.


Word of the Week: Ameliorated

As in: “The loneliness of women soldiers might, one would think, be ameliorated by the companionship of other women, at least if there are some, and this is sometimes the case (Benedict2009, p.168).  

Benedict, H. (2009)The lonely soldier: the private war of women serving in Iraq. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. 

For definitions of ameliorated, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.


Word of the Week: Draconian

As in: “But while potentially fueled by such grievances, the expression of discontent through social movements, opposition forces, or civic activism is likely curtailed in the more draconian autocracies due to lack of freedom of association” (Grömping, 2017, p.171). 

Grömping, M. (2017). Domestic monitors. In P. Norris & A. Nai (Eds.), Election watchdogs: Transparency, accountability and integrity (pp. 167-190). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

For definitions of draconian, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

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