Lesbian Academic Couples

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Harrington Park Press, 2005 - Social Science - 133 pages
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Learn how lesbian couples deal with political, social, and legal issues related to their relationships--and their professions

Lesbian Academic Couples is a collection of writings by scholars who examine--in theory and in narrative--issues faced by partners working in the academic field, including the politics of spousal hiring, discrimination in hiring practices, collaboration between partners, long-distance relationships, team teaching, and job sharing. This unique book presents firsthand accounts from senior faculty with lengthy credentials in LGBT scholarship who have been able to land academic positions not compromised by outing, from established academics who have been outed to negative effect, from junior scholars with a queer specialty, and from faculty whose work is constantly shifting and unpredictable.

The format of Lesbian Academic Couples is unique. Authors well known to the lesbian communities in the United States, Canada, and Australia, present essays that "converse" with one another, offering opposing positions that represent a diversity of approaches on vital issues. The book offers candid accounts of the experiences of lesbian couples fortunate enough to work in supportive academic environments and from those discouraged from being out on campus or from doing academic work in the area of LGBT studies. This groundbreaking book is especially timely given current lawsuits and legislation involving civil unions and domestic partner benefits, enforcement of domestic violence statutes, and the rights of unmarried older couples.

Lesbian Academic Couples includes the stories of couples who:
  • achieved scholarly success and a reaffirmed relationship
  • were separated when they couldn't find viable academic positions in the same geographical area
  • abandoned the security of tenured positions for the sake of their relationship
  • were professionally marginalized because of their same-sex, mixed-race relationship
  • wrote under the pen name "Michael Field" in the nineteenth century
In addition, Lesbian Academic Couples examines the critical issues of:
  • state sanctioning through marriage
  • spousal hiring package plans
  • sexual orientation nondiscrimination policies
Lesbian Academic Couples have existed, as long as there have been female academics. This powerful book gives voice to their successes and struggles.

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About the author (2005)

Michelle A. Gibson is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Women's Studies at the University of Cincinnati. She received her Ph.D. in 1993 from Ohio University, where her areas of study were American Literature, Composition Research and Pedagogy, and Creative Writing. Her scholarship has continued in all three of these areas. Her most recent writing applies queer and postmodern identity theories to pedagogical practice and popular culture. She also continues to write and publish poetry. With Jonathan Alexander, she edited "QP: Queer Poetry", an online poetry journal, and she and Alexander also edited a strain of "JAu Journal of Advanced Composition" entitled "Queer Composition(s)." With Deborah Meem, she co-edited "Femme/ Butch: New Considerations of the Way We Want to Go" and "Lesbian Academic Couples".

Deborah T. Meem is professor and head of the Department of Women s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her academic specialties are Victorian literature, lesbian studies, and the nineteenth-century woman s novel. She earned a PhD from Stony Brook University in 1985. Her work has appeared in Journal of the History of Sexuality, Feminist Teacher, Studies in Popular Culture, and elsewhere. She has edited three works by Victorian novelist and journalist Eliza Lynn Linton: The Rebel of the Family (Broadview, 2002), Realities (Valancourt, 2010), and The Autobiography of Christopher Kirkland (Victorian Secrets, 2011). With Michelle Gibson, she has coedited Femme/Butch: New Considerations of the Way We Want to Go (2002) and Lesbian Academic Couples (2005), both published by Haworth Press. With Jonathan Alexander, she wrote Dorian Gray, Tom Ripley, and the Queer Closet (CLCWeb 2003).

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