Call for Chapter Submissions – Integral Perspectives on Diversity

We (Editors Toni Gregory, Michael Raffanti and Mark Forman) are extremely pleased to announce a call for chapter submissions for a new book that will examine diversity issues through the lens of Integral Theory. As the first collection of its kind, we hope the volume will instigate further inquiry into diversity by integral scholars and practitioners who can deepen and expand understandings of diversity in theoretical and applied contexts.

Although diversity is a universal, naturally occurring, complex, generative phenomenon, very little has been done to expand the conceptualization and study of diversity dynamics beyond conventional, reductionist frameworks. The most comprehensive approach to date is that of R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr. who, in works such as Beyond Race and Gender (1991) expanded the concept of diversity beyond conventional perspectives, demonstrating its complex nature and the importance of analyzing diversity dynamics from multiple perspectives. Defining diversity as “any mixture of elements characterized by differences and similarities”, Thomas broke new ground by conceptualizing diversity as having an unlimited number of dimensions with unlimited opportunities for interaction among the dimensions. Thomas also introduced the idea that an individual’s worldview heavily contributed to the nature and outcome of the diversity dynamics in which s/he was involved.

An AQAL approach to diversity would similarly recognize that diversity dynamics are much more intricate than mere issues of difference between individuals or groups and are generated as a result of the complex process of integration and differentiation in which similarities, in addition to differences, play a key role. An AQAL approach should, at a minimum, take into consideration all five elements of the Integral model—quadrants, lines, levels, states, and types. Were such an approach clearly articulated, it would offer researchers and practitioners  an orientation to diversity that may avoid the “quadrant absolutism” that limits conventional approaches (Wilber, personal communication, April 14, 2009). In this paradigm, the four quadrants represent a co-enacted field of probability waves and potentiality/creativity out of which multiple, complex events emerge in each quadrant and interact with each other within and between quadrants.

Speaking at an integral Zen seminar, Diane Hamilton commented on the need for an integral approach to diversity that addresses the complexities of developmental levels. She asserted, “Diversity training, when it stays at green [altitude], is radically incomplete…it opens people, it creates new perspectives, and it creates awareness, but it’s not enough to hold what actually needs to happen” (Wilber & Hamilton, 2007). In keeping with Diane’s call, we have each been involved in developing integral understandings of diversity across disciplines of politics, leadership, psychology, and organizational studies. At the most recent Integral Theory Conference in July 2010, Toni and Michael presented on their developmental theory of Integral Diversity Maturity as applied to the autobiographies of Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X and have contributed a journal article to the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice based on that presentation. Mark has written as a substantial chapter on the topic of diversity in his text, A Guide to Integral Psychotherapy. In his presentation at the conference he further dealt with the need for a dialectical and balanced inclusion of multiple perspectives on diversity, including the tradition of conservative African-American thought. The idea for this edited volume emerged from the dialog we had at the conference and subsequent communications.

The development of a field dedicated to the study of the nature, processes, and dynamics of diversity remains embryonic. Although there has been considerable research with respect to issues regarding specific human characteristics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and other characteristics used to differentiate and disenfranchise, a limited conceptual understanding of diversity dynamics has rendered scholarship in the field frozen in time. This is precisely where the contributions of integral approaches can be valuable and yield greatly needed conceptual clarity that takes into account the complexity of diversity.

Those wishing to contribute to this volume should submit a 300-500 word abstract outlining the proposed chapter. Co-authored pieces are welcomed, as are submissions from new and emerging scholars who have not yet published. We hope to attract a wide range of abstracts representing many disciplinary perspectives and many aspects of diversity and Integral Theory. We welcome meta-theoretical works, as well as empirical studies or practical applications.  Topics may include (but are certainly not limited to): developmental models of diversity; integral leadership and diversity; integral models of diversity training; the relationship between diversity and complexity; identity issues; diversity and issues of economic class; and diversity and power. It is not necessary to address all five elements of Integral Theory in any single contribution, though comprehensiveness is appreciated. We are also open to pieces that are critical in nature; particularly pieces that anticipate problems that an AQAL approach to diversity will encounter and that offer constructive suggestions for its improvement.

The selection process will be competitive and our goal is to select 12-15 outstanding submissions for publication. We are seeking works that are academically sound; demonstrate familiarity with Integral Theory and the AQAL model; and communicate the complex and dynamic nature of diversity in a provocative and novel fashion.

Our editorial involvement will range from a minor to significant  depending on the chapter and issues it takes on as well as requests for support and input. It is important to us that authors have their own voice. At the same time we want this volume to be extremely well written and a powerful contribution to the field, so we won’t hesitate to provide direct feedback and suggestions to authors throughout the process. We look forward to this collaborative aspect of this ambitious project.

General Timeline
Below are the general due dates for the various phases of this project:

* March 2011: Announcement made for call for chapters
* July 1, 2011: 300-500 word abstracts due
* October 31, 2011: Final submissions due in APA format.
* November 1, 2011: Manuscript submitted to SUNY for peer review

This volume will be published as part of the SUNY Series in Integral Theory. Note that the volume will be done in APA style so please plan on submitting your final chapter in this academic format.

To submit abstracts and chapters or to ask us any questions about the book or your potential contributions to it please email us at Thank you for considering contributing to this exciting and timely volume and please pass this call for chapters along to others who might have an important offering

Warm regards,

Toni, Michael and Mark


Toni Gregory, Ed.D.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Ph.D. Program in Interdisciplinary Studies
Union Institute & University


Michael A. Raffanti, Ed.D., J.D.
Core Faculty
Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership
Union Institute & University


Mark D. Forman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Integral Theory Department
John F. Kennedy University


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