The Broad Experience: Podcast on Women in Academia

November 18th, 2013

“You have to be able to concentrate and that requires a lot of time free from any other thoughts. And that means you can’t be thinking about taking the kids to the doctor, you can’t be thinking about how dirty the house is.” – Aeron Haynie

“Who do you report an assault to when it’s your boss? What do you do when that’s the person who raped you?…and when you finally talk to HR they say you’re a graduate student, you’re not technically an employee, so they can’t help you.” – Kate Clancy

Ashley Milne-Tyte recently interviewed Mama, PhD contributor Aeron Haynie and others about the challenges of being a woman — and especially being a mother — in academia. Click here to listen to the podcast!

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CFP: Staging Women’s Lives in Academia (Literature and Language Workplaces)

May 8th, 2012

CFP: Staging Women’s Lives in Academia (Literature and Language Workplaces)

We are putting together an edited collection, tentatively titled Staging Women’s Lives in Academia. The subtitle, yet to be figured out, will indicate that our focus is upon women in literature and languages. The book, under serious consideration at Rutgers University Press for its new Higher Education Studies series, will focus upon nodal points of professional (graduate school, pre- and post- tenure, mid- and later- career, and retirement) and personal life for women in academia. We have two key premises: that choosing not to continue down the traditional path of academic life stages is as significant as following it, and that the usual conflation of academic and age-specific life stages is deeply gendered.

Our design for the collection outlines professional life stages. These range from:

• finishing the degree (who chooses to write or not write the dissertation);
• seeking academic or other employment post-Ph.D.;
• beginning and then remaining in the profession (publishing, promotions, moving into administration or not);
• leaving academia once employed (whether in a full-time or part-time, pre-tenure or post-tenure position);
• deciding to retire or to continue working.

We welcome essays from women who have followed a traditional career path, but also from those who’ve travelled other roads. We can readily see a graduate student writing about the decision to get the Ph.D. but not pursue academic employment, for example, an adjunct writing about mid-career parenting decisions, an administrator writing about being “stuck,” an associate professor talking about the decision not to seek promotion to full professor, etc. Parenting, elder-care issues, and general assessment of “professionalization” values can also lead to priorities other than those usually counseled through professional advice venues.

Although we of course want contributors to draw upon personal experience, we will be asking that they both theorize and concretize their essays. As you think about this call, we’d like to ask that you also think about some very basic questions that could help others, such as: “Do/did you discover that your experience was typical, but nonetheless didn’t expect it?” “What would you point out as the key features of this stage to a colleague just beginning it?” “How do you think your experiences were shaped by the kind of school you worked at and where your school was situated?” and, everyone’s favorite, “What would you do differently if you had it to do again?”

Besides these basic questions, there are many others that you might consider, such as: What is gendered about your career path, your career experience? How did race/ethnicity, age, class, sexuality, and culture affect your academic experience at each stage? How did your academic work feed into, enhance, or distract from other parts of your life? Or how much of your personal life intersects with or clashes with your work life? Has your work changed over time? Have you changed over time in terms of your enthusiasm for, and interest in, your work?

We want contributors to be frank, but we also want these essays to encourage “best practice” discussion and also to serve as references for other women. Because responding fully to some of these topics may be difficult, we are willing to accept proposals or essays by authors writing under a pseudonym or anonymously. We also invite proposals written by several people in dialogue with each other.

Please consider sending in a proposal for this collection, but also think about students and colleagues who fall under the “did not choose to” rubrics who may not be receiving notes such as this. Please forward this call to them. We would like to receive proposals by June 1, 2012. Proposal packets should include a 500-word abstract (or a full essay, if appropriate) and a brief c.v. Final essays should be around 6250 words, including notes and Works Cited, although we will consider shorter pieces. They should be sent to both of us:

Michelle Massé at
Nan Bauer-Maglin at

Call for Papers: Being & Thinking as an Academic Mother

October 19th, 2009

Being and Thinking as an Academic Mother: Theory and Narrative
A One-Day Symposium

The Association for Research on Mothering (ARM) and the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University will co-host a one-day symposium at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute on Thursday, April 08, 2010 on “Being and Thinking as an Academic Mother: Theory and Practice.”

ARM and the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University are now seeking submissions for the symposium. The symposium will explore academic mothers’ experiences from both narrative and theory. While previous panel discussions and collections such as PhD Momma and Parenting and Professing examined being a mother academic from narrative or “lived experience” and others, Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering issue on Mothers in the Academe, explored mother academics’ experiences from a theoretical perspective, this is the first symposium to do so incorporating both narrative and theory. The symposium will explore how both research and narrative can inform contemporary understandings of academic motherhood, particularly in regard to strategies of resistance and empowerment.

Paper proposals should strengthen the dialogue among academic motherhood, intellectual ideas, and personal narrative. The symposium will explore the topic of Being and Thinking as an Academic Mother from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. We welcome submissions from scholars across disciplines.

The symposium will run from 9-5 and will include approximately 25 papers, with each panelist having 20 minutes to present their paper. To present at this symposium, you must be a member of ARM. The symposium will coincide with the NeMLA conference (April 07-11, 2010) at McGill University. The Institute is located at 2170 Bishop Street, Montreal, Quebec.

Topics can include (but are not limited to):
the maternal wall, “opting out”, mentoring and modeling, being a professor mother, work-life balance, negotiating or resisting the maternal wall, single mothers and academic work, graduate student mothering, being a mother on the tenure track, being a pregnant professor, maternity leave and academic mothering, poverty and academic mothering, juggling mothering and academic expectations, intersections between feminism and academic mothering, being an academic artist and mothering, race and academic mothering, academic job searches and mothering, teaching and mothering, sexuality and academic mothering, male organizing principles and academic mothering, the academic schedule and mothering, fertility and academic mothering, challenging assumptions about academic mothers, ethics and academic mothering, “having it all” as academic mothers, adoption and academic mothering, networking, strategies for surviving academic mothering, class and academic mothering, race and academic mother mentors, social reproduction and academic mothering, motherhood closet, being out as a mother, second/third shift in the home, academic culture and mothering, maternal pedagogy, myth of ideal worker/ideal mother, intensive mothering and academe, unboundedness of mother work and academic work, childcare, fathering, trailing spouses, academic couples, biological clock, university policies and mothering, timing and spacing of children, perceptions of mothers in academe, discrimination avoidance, discrimination against mothers in academe, motherhood penalty, “price of motherhood”, adjunct work, teaching and motherhood, benefits of motherhood on teaching and research.

Abstracts due by December 01, 2010.

Scholars interested in submitting proposals to this symposium are invited to submit proposals to D. Lynn O’Brien Hallstein at
or Andrea O’Reily

NeMLA: Calls for Papers:

July 31st, 2009

The Northeast Modern Language Association
41st Anniversary Convention, Montreal, Quebec – Hilton Bonaventure, April 7-11, 2010

The 41st Annual Convention will feature approximately 350 sessions, as well as dynamic speakers and cultural events. Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.

Abstract Deadline: September 30, 2009

Please include with your abstract:

Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee)

Being and Thinking as an Academic Mother: Theory and Narrative

While previous books and panels have examined being a mother academic from narrative or “lived experience” and others explored mother academics’ experiences from a theoretical perspective, this panel will incorporate both narrative and theory. The panel will explore how both research and narrative can inform contemporary understandings of academic motherhood and will strengthen the dialogue among academic motherhood, intellectual ideas, and narrative. Please submit 200-300 word abstracts to D. Lynn O’Brien Hallstein at

Literary Motherhood in the New World

This panel seeks submissions of 200-400 words which focus on the relationship between a mother and her children and/or the social role of the mother in the New World in both racialized and non-racialized contexts. Submissions from literary works which draw from the New World-North and South American mainland as well as the Caribbean-are welcomed as are works which draw from both the colonial and postcolonial periods. Please send submissions to Kate Caccavaio at

The Adoption Memoir

As the forming of families through trans-national adoption has radically increased over the past decade, a new genre of memoir writing has emerged. This panel will examine the Adoption Memoir as a cultural expression of the need to interrogate this new form of family making, and its impact on the family members and society. Papers can be on single or selections of memoirs, from all viewpoints (adoptive parent, adoptee and birthparents). Literary, socio-political, psychoanalytic, feminist and global-economic approaches welcome. Lindsay Davies at

The Politics of Reproduction: New Technologies of Life

February 19th, 2009

Barnard Center for Research on Women is hosting a conference  February 28 entitled “The Politics of Reproduction: New Technologies of Life,” which will take up many of the questions that surround the increasing use of assisted reproductive technologies and adoption to build families. Propelled by changes in familial form, such as lesbian, gay, and transgendered parents and families; delays in childbearing; and childrearing in second or third marriages, the use of ART and transnational adoption is growing, and so are the questions that accompany the use of these new ways of creating families. For instance, do these new technologies place women and children at risk? How should we respond ethically to the ability of these technologies to test for genetic illnesses? How can we ensure that marginalized individuals, for example, people with disabilities, women of color, and low-income women, have equal access to these new technologies and adoption practices? And, similarly, how do we ensure that transnational surrogacy and adoption practices are not exploitative?

For more information about the conference, including a full list of participants, please visit the website.

CFP: Mothers Creating/Writing Lives: Motherhood Memoirs

January 28th, 2009


Mothers Creating/Writing Lives: Motherhood Memoirs

As memoir continues to expand in popularity, motherhood memoir has become an increasingly prominent and lucrative subgenre for contemporary authors. As Michelle Herman points out in The Middle of Everything: Memoirs of Motherhood, if forced to choose between her daughter and her writing, she would choose her daughter, but this would be a gut-wrenching decision. Instead, her writing life is woven into her mothering life, and she finds that she can write in conditions she would have previously thought impossible. It is clear that writers who are also mothers must write their stories. How do they do it, why are so many readers interested in what they have to say, and what can we learn from them? Women have been writing about motherhood as long as they have been writing, but the contemporary shift to tell-all memoirs has changed the rules of writing about mothering, and perhaps, of mothering itself.

We are seeking proposals for a collection that will interrogate and critique the motherhood memoir. In addition to a new collection entitled Mama Ph.D.: Women Write about Motherhood and Academic Life, there are several very recent motherhood memoirs that demand critical attention, works such as: Adrienne Martini’s, Hillbilly Gothic: A Memoir of Madness and Motherhood; Susan Johnson’s, A Better Woman; Ayun Halliday’s, The Big Rumpus; and Anne Roiphe’s, Living Contradictions: A Memoir of Modern Motherhood. What are these and other writing mothers saying about the experience of mothering today? What, if any, universals are present in motherhood memoirs? What societal critiques and suggestions provide the bedrock for potential revolutionary parenting practices? This collection will strive to bridge the distance between writing mothers who are critics and writing mothers who are authors by privileging academic work that seeks to discuss and contextualize motherhood memoirs beside authors’ own experiences of mothering, academic life, and writing. Autotheoretical works are encouraged, as are works that seek to meaningfully compare contemporary motherhood memoirs with those written in other eras, or works which thematically explore a grouping of memoirs. For example, one might discuss the role of fathers, special needs children, mothering and mental illness, etc. in several volumes, particularly if these topics inform the author’s own experiences. Other possible topics include the range of issues related to choice (the choice of whether/when/how to mother, etc.), mothering and socioeconomic class, mothering and race, mothering at different ages, mothering and prose/poetic form, mothering and sexuality, and other topical themes.

Please send one to two page proposals and a curriculum vitae to Justine Dymond, jdymond AT spfldcol DOT edu , and Nicole Willey, nwilley AT kent DOT edu, by April 15, 2009.

Can Work in Higher Education Be Family Friendly?

January 15th, 2009

Doctoral students at the University of California campuses think not, according to a survey released this week by Mary Ann Mason, former dean of the UC Berkeley graduate division and co-author of Mothers on the Fast Track; Marc Goulden, a researcher at the University of California; and Karie Frasch, manager of the UC Faculty Family Friendly Edge project.

“The survey [of more than 8300 graduate students] found that 84 percent of women and 74 percent of men are somewhat or very concerned about the family friendliness of their future employers. But only 46 percent of men and only 29 percent of women imagine jobs in research universities to be somewhat or very family friendly.”

Read more about the study at Inside Higher Ed.

NWSA 2009: Call for Roundtable Participants

January 13th, 2009

Mama, PhD:
Reflections on Parenting in the (Feminist) Academy

The 2008 book, Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life, offers a diverse set of perspectives on the challenges and rewards of combining parenthood with an
academic career. This proposal seeks to continue that conversation, particularly focusing on the experience of parenting as Women’s Studies (and WS-related) faculty and graduate
students. Despite the popular perception of academia as a flexible career that easily accommodates parenthood (“You only teach 12 hours a week? And you have summers off?”), the demands of publishing, teaching, dissertation writing, attending conferences, going on the job market, and activism make navigating the work/family divide difficult.

The session will consist of a discussion among panelists, as well as audience members, about various aspects of academic parenting. Topics to be covered may include, but are not limited to:

-planning: when is the best time?


-working with reproductive technologies

-affording children on grad school stipends and temporary
position pay

-issues with medical benefits

-feminist parenting

-struggles with conception

-attitudes toward parenting in departments and universities


-parenting while on the tenure track

-parenting after tenure

-parenting during graduate school

-parenting as an undergraduate

-parenting on the job market

-parenting as a non-traditional student


-remaining childfree

-single parenting

-issues in co-parenting

Embedded within our discussion will be an attentiveness to the
ways in which all of these issues are impacted by gender, race, class,
sexuality, age, and ability. Ideally,
participants will include an assortment of individuals who can speak to the
challenges and rewards of parenting at different levels of an academic

Please send a short paragraph describing your proposed
contribution to the roundtable to brown.2997ATosuDOTedu
by February 1st. Decisions will be made by February 5th.

Adriane Brown, PhD Student,
Women’s Studies
The Ohio State University

Survey of Academic Mom Bloggers

November 25th, 2008

There is still time to participate in the survey of academic mom bloggers being conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut Psychology Department, so make your voice heard!.  “We will be closing the survey to participants in about 2 weeks, and want to give everyone who was interested in participating a chance. Because the community of academic mothers who blog is relatively small, it is important for us to get as many people to fill out the survey as possible.  The survey does require a time commitment of about an hour.  If you do not have an hour, but do a have a few minutes, please feel free to complete as much of the survey as possible.  You do not have to answer every question, although we are very interested in what you have to say about your own experiences as a mother, academic, and blogger.  If you think you may have time to fill it out in more than 2 weeks, please let me know.  We hope you”ll consider participating!

Here is the link:

We hope to have preliminary results sometime in March and will happily forward those results to people who have expressed interest. “

Call for Submissions: Dads in Academia

November 18th, 2008

The editors of Dads in Academia: Male Voices In and Out of the Ivory Tower invite contributions for an interdisciplinary collection of creative nonfiction essays on the rewards and challenges of being both a father and an academic.  Much recent discussion about the juxtaposition of parenthood and the academy has focused on the difficulties that female professors face when they choose to become mothers. Books like Mama, PhD, edited by Caroline Grant and Elrena Evans, depict the oftentimes bleak prospects of merging the two endeavors.  This collection welcomes the masculine voice into this lively and provocative dialogue.  Further, Dads in Academia creates a space for male professors to describe their own experiences of balancing the demands and desires of two worlds that have changed notably throughout the past few decades:  fatherhood and academia.

We encourage contributors to consider the changing cultural perceptions, representations, and expectations associated with fatherhood, and to explore the impact of such changes on their identities as teachers and scholars.  Increasingly, fathers are taking on a more intense role with regard to child-rearing than ever before.  How do today’s male academics view their participation in the parenting process?  How is this changing the nature of the job?  Has the evolving role of the father in contemporary society changed the job itself?

We also welcome essays that focus on how the evolution of fatherhood is changing the face of academia.  Have we seen any concrete changes on college campuses to encourage the “professor as interactive father” schemata?  What is the climate like for male professors who “want it all”? Are they able to balance fatherhood and the road to tenure? What gives?

Mary Ruth Marotte, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of English and the Director of Graduate Studies in English at the University of Central Arkansas, where she specializes in women’s studies and critical theory.  Her book, Captive Bodies: American Women Writers Redefine Pregnancy and Childbirth, was released by Demeter Press in October 2008.  She lives in Conway, AR with her husband and three children.

Paige Martin Reynolds, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Central Arkansas.  Her specializations include Shakespeare, British Renaissance Drama, Performance Studies, and Elizabeth I.  She has written articles published or forthcoming in SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, ANQ: American Notes and Queries, and 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era.  She lives in Little Rock, AR with her husband and daughter.

Deadline:     March 1, 2009

Length:     1,500 to 4,000 words.

Format:     Essays must be typed, double-spaced, and paginated.  Please include your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and a short bio on the last page.

Contact: mrmarotte AT hotmail DOT com

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