Every year, American universities publish glowing reports stating their commitment to diversity, often showing statistics of female hires as proof of success. Yet, although women make up increasing numbers of graduate students, graduate degree recipients, and even new hires, academic life remains overwhelming a man's world. The reality that the statistics fail to highlight is that the presence of women, specifically those with children, in the ranks of tenured faculty has not increased in a generation. Further, ...
Every year, American universities publish glowing reports stating their commitment to diversity, often showing statistics of female hires as proof of success. Yet, although women make up increasing numbers of graduate students, graduate degree recipients, and even new hires, academic life remains overwhelming a man's world. The reality that the statistics fail to highlight is that the presence of women, specifically those with children, in the ranks of tenured faculty has not increased in a generation. Further, those women who do achieve tenure track placement tend to report slow advancement, income disparity, and lack of job satisfaction compared to their male colleagues.
Amid these disadvantages, what is a Mama, PhD to do? This literary anthology brings together a selection of deeply felt personal narratives by smart, interesting women who explore the continued inequality of the sexes in higher education and suggest changes that could make universities more family-friendly workplaces.
The contributors hail from a wide array of disciplines and bring with them a variety of perspectives, including those of single and adoptive parents. They address topics that range from the level of policy to practical day-to-day concerns, including caring for a child with special needs, breastfeeding on campus, negotiating viable maternity and family leave policies, job-sharing and telecommuting options, and fitting into desk/chair combinations while eight months pregnant.
Candid, provocative, and sometimes with a wry sense of humor, the thirty-five essays in this anthology speak to and offer support for any woman attempting to combine work and family, as well as anyone who is interested in improving the university's ability to live up to its reputation to be among the most progressive of American institutions.
Elrena Evans received her MFA in creative writing from The Pennsylvania State University, and is a columnist for Literary Mama. Her work also appears in the anthologies Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers and How to Fit a Car Seat on a Camel.
Caroline Grant is Senior Editor and a columnist for Literary Mama. She holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of California at Berkeley.
Foreword Miriam Peskowitz xi
The Conversation Jamie Warner 3
In Medias Res Sonya Huber 11
Scholar, Negated Jessica Smartt Gullion 16
Student/Body Sheila Squillante 20
On Being Phyllis's Daughter: Thoughts on Academic Intimacy Laura Levitt 25
Engineering Motherhood Jennifer Eyre White 31
The Wire Mother Susan O'Doherty 39
Fitting In Elrena Evans 49
Motherhood after Tenure: Confessions of a Late Bloomer Aeron Haynie 55
That Mommy Thing
First Day of School Amy Hudock 63
Two Boards and a Passion: On Theater, Academia, and the Art of Failure Anjalee Deshpande Nadkarni 66
Living (!) A Life I Never Planned Rosemarie Emanuele 72
Coming to Terms at Full Term Natalie Kertes Weaver 77
One Mama's Dispensable Myths and Indispensable Machines Angelica Duran 80
That Mommy Thing Alissa McElreath 89
Failure toProgress: What Having a Baby Taught Me about Aristotle, Advanced Degrees, Developmental Delays, and Other Natural Disasters Irena Auerbuch Smith 93
Infinite Calculations Della Fenster 103
I Stand Here Teaching: Tillie Olsen and Maternity in the Classroom Julia Lisella 109
The Facts, the Stories Leah Bradshaw 116
I Am Not a Head on a Stick: On Being a Teacher and a Doctor and a Mommy Elisabeth Rose Gruner 123
Lip Service Jennifer Cognard-Black 129
Body Double Leslie Leyland Fields 136
The Long and Winding Road Jean Kazez 145
The Bags I Carried Caroline Grant 149
One of the Boys Martha Ellis Crone 159
Free to Be ... Mom and Me: Finding My Complicated Truth as an Academic Daughter Megan Pincus Kajitani 168
Nontraditional Academics: At Home with Children and a PhD Susan Bassow Dana Campbell Liz Stockwell 174
A Great Place to Have a Baby Rebecca Steinitz 184
Recovering Academic Jennifer Margulis 189
The Orange Kangaroo Nicole Cooley Julia Spicher Kasdorf 201
Ideal Mama, Ideal Worker: Negotiating Guilt and Shame in Academe Jean-Anne Sutherland 213
In Theory/In Practice: On Choosing Children and the Academy Lisa Harper 222
Motherhood Is Easy; Graduate School Is Hard Tedra Osell 231
Momifesto: Affirmations for the Academic Mother Cynthia Kuhn Josie Mills Christy Rowe Erin Webster Garrett 237
In Dreams Begin Possibilities-Or, Anybody Have Time for a Change? Judith Sanders 247