Mama, PhD: Women Write about Motherhood and Academic Life

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Rutgers University Press, 2008 - Education - 262 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

The Conversation JAMIE WARNER
3
In Medias Res SONYA HUBER
11
Scholar Negated JESSICA SMARTT GUILLON
16
StudentBody SHEILA SQUILLANTE
20
Thoughts on Academic Intimacy LAURA LEVITT
25
Engineering Motherhood JENNIFER EYRE WHITE
31
The Wire Mother SUSAN ODOHERTY
39
Fitting In ELRENA EVANS
49
On Being a Teacher and a Doctor and a Mommy ELISABETH ROSE GRUNER
123
Lip Service JENNIFER COGNARDBLACK
129
Body Double LESLIE LEYLAND FIELDS
136
Recovering Academic
143
The Long and Winding Road JEAN KAZEZ
145
The Bags I Carried CAROLINE GRANT
149
One of the Boys MARTHA ELLIS CRONE
159
Finding My Complicated Truth as an Academic Daughter MEGAN PINCUS KAJITANI
168

Confessions of a Late Bloomer AERON HAYNIE
55
That Mommy Thing
61
First Day of School AMY HUDOCK
63
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 Mamás Dispensable Myths and Indispensable Machines ANGELICA DURAN
80
That Mommy Thing ALISSA MCELREATH
89
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
Tillie Olsen and Maternity in the Classroom JULIA LISELLA
109
The Facts the Stories LEAH BRADSHAW
116
At Home with Children and a PhD SUSAN BASSOW DANA CAMPBELL AND LIZ STOCKWELL
174
A Great Place to Have a Baby REBECCA STEINITZ
184
Recovering Academic JENNIFER MARGULIS
189
Momifesto
199
The Orange Kangaroo NICOLE COOLEY AND JULIA SPICHER KASDORF
201
Negotiating Guilt and Shame in Academe JEANANNE SUTHERLAND
213
On Choosing Children and the Academy LISA HARPER
222
Motherhood Is Easy Graduate School Is Hard TEDRA OSELL
231
Affirmations for the Academic Mother CYNTHIA KUHN JOSIE MILLS CHRISTY ROWE AND ERIN WEBSTER GARETT
237
In Dreams Begin PossibilitiesOr Anybody Have Time for a Change? JUDITH SANDERS
247
Contributors
251
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About the author (2008)

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.

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