Mama, PhD at the MLA!

January 6th, 2009

Usually, graduate students and professors in the humanities tend to dread the annual Modern Language Association convention. After all, it meets right between Christmas and New Year’s, usually in a very cold city, and everybody’s fretting about giving a terrific paper or speaking brilliantly in an interview.

For me, however, now that I am an academic outsider, it was all pretty fun. I got to visit with old friends from graduate school, attend whatever panels I chose (mostly meta-panels on the state of the profession, but one excellent Russian film panel, too), and hang out at the Rutgers and Inside Higher Ed booths, too. In return for a press pass, I wrote a few articles about the proceedings for Inside Higher Ed. MLA Realities: Then and Now; The Quest for Balance and Support; and Caring for Children and Their Parents. Check them out and leave a comment if you like; I’m curious to know how other academic conferences handle child care, and what other fields are doing to make life easier for their grad student and faculty parents.

Seeking Input on “Engaged Scholarship”

December 1st, 2008

Our good friend Girl w/Pen wants to hear from you! From her blog today:

At the gracious invitation of the wonderful and savvy Renee Cramer (see her prescient GWP post, “This Bridge Called Barack”, from February), I am giving a workshop at Drake University on Friday on the topic of being an engaged scholar. Engaged, as in, with a public outside of the academy. As always, I’m encouraging folks to try to FRAME issues in public debate rather than simply react when others do the framing for us, and rely on shoddy evidence to support their claims.

And so I thought I’d ask GWP readers who have had experiences “crossing over” from a more academically-inclined universe to more “pop” or public writing and speaking.

And if you have not (YET!) done some of that crossover activity but want to, what holds you back?  Please tell me, in comments.

Click on over to Girl w/Pen to give your response.

On Publicity

October 12th, 2008

Elrena and I are learning so much about publicity now as we try to spread the word about Mama, PhD, we are guest blogging about it for Cindy Green; check it out:

So you’ve written the book. You’ve gotten an offer, you’ve signed the contract, you’ve edited yourself cross-eyed. Now all you have to do is wait for publication day.

While you’re waiting, this is the perfect time to start thinking about publicity—the bridge that will span the gap between you and your readers, the tool that will bring your book to your buyers. Here are some tips to get you started…

Click on over to Cindy Green to read the rest!

Question, Question, Who’s Got a Question?

August 5th, 2008

Tedra Osell, aka Bitch PhD, is now fielding questions about combining family and academic life over at the Mama, PhD blog on InsideHigherEd. Click on over and send her your questions; she’s got answers!

The Boston Globe on Work/Family Issues

June 3rd, 2008

First, check out Mama, PhD contributor Rebecca Steinitz’s article titled “The Rest of Us:”

Summer vacation looms large among the specters that haunt the 2 a.m. anxiety fests of the working mother. While corporate titans turn to their nannies, and stay-at-home moms schedule swimming-lesson car pools, the rest of us lie awake, trying to figure it out.

Then, read Kristen Green’s terrific article, The write time, which focuses specifically on issues facing women  working toward their doctorates who want to have children, too:

Terra Barnes is a 29-year-old neuroscientist working toward her doctorate at the Graybiel Laboratory at MIT, one of the most prestigious in the country. She’s also a smitten mother of 9-month-old Brayden.

Changing diapers and performing brain surgeries don’t exactly go together, but Barnes felt she didn’t have a choice. She wanted to have a baby, and she needed to finish her dissertation.

She’s still figuring out how to make it work. . . .

And of course, for more stories about how women in academia are figuring out how to make it all work, check out Mama, PhD.

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Mama, PhD blog on Inside Higher Ed!

May 4th, 2008

We are thrilled to announce that InsideHigherEd is launching a new Mama PhD blog, and seven of our contributors — Libby Gruner, Megan Kajitani, Susan Bassow, Dana Campbell, Liz Stockwell, Anjalee Nadkarni and Della Fenster — will be blogging regularly there. This is a tremendous opportunity to bring the discussion of academic work/ family life balance issues out of the book, into the blogosphere and from there into classrooms and campus administrative offices.

Please check out the blog, leave your comments, and send questions to Megan (for now, via; the blog will soon list a more direct address) who will be writing a weekly advice column. And then please spread the word! Tell your friends, add the link to your blogroll, and help us build an audience for our bloggers.

New book by Cynthia Kuhn!

April 17th, 2008

styling texts book coverContributor Cynthia Kuhn’s new book, Styling Texts: Dress and Fashion in Literature, cowritten with Cindy Carlson, is out now from Cambria Press:

“Covering a variety of genres and periods from medieval epic to contemporary speculative fiction, Styling Texts explores the fascinating ways in which dress performs in literature. Numerous authors have made powerful—even radical—use of clothing and its implications, and the essays collected here demonstrate how scholarly attention to literary fashioning can contribute to a deeper understanding of texts, their contexts, and their innovations. These generative and engaging discussions focus on issues such as fashion and anti-fashion; clothing reform; transvestism; sartorial economics; style and the gaze; transgressive modes; and class, gender, or race “passing.”

“This is the first academic volume to address such an extensive range of texts, inviting consideration of how fashionable desires and concerns not only articulate the aesthetics, subjectivities, and controversies of a given culture, but also communicate across temporal and spatial divisions. Styling Texts is an essential resource for anyone interested in the artistic representations and significations of dress.”

New book by Sonya Huber!

February 21st, 2008

opa nobodyOpa Nobody by Sonya Huber has just been released by the U of Nebraska Press (American Lives Series, ed. Tobias Wolff) and is now available at Amazon.

It had come to this: breastfeeding her screaming three-month-old while sitting on the cigarette-scarred floor of a union hall, lying to her husband so she could attend yet another activist meeting, and otherwise actively self-destructing. Then Sonya Huber turned to her long-dead grandfather, the family “nobody,” for help.

Huber’s search for meaning and resonance in the life of her grandfather Heina Buschman was unusual insofar as she knew him only through dismissive family stories: He let his wife die of neglect . . . he used his infant son as a decoy when transporting anti-Nazi literature in a baby carriage . . . and so the stories went. What she actually discovered was that, like his granddaughter, Heina Buschman was a committed and beleaguered activist whose story echoed her own. Huber’s research not only conjured her grandfather’s voice in answer to many of the questions that troubled her but also found in his story a source of personal sustenance for herself. Based on extensive research and documentation, this story of Heina Buschman offers a rare look into the heart of the “average” socialist trying to survive the Nazis and rebuild a broken world. Alternating with his voice is Huber’s own, providing a rich and moving counterpoint that makes this deeply personal exploration of family, politics, and individual responsibility a story for all of us and for all time.

Kirkus Reviews writes, “[S]harp human insights on the omnipresent complications of living in Nazi Germany make this a worthwhile read… [A] unique, imaginative take on the family memoir.”

New Book by Jennifer Margulis!

January 24th, 2008

baby bonding
Mama, PhD contributor Jennifer Margulis has a new book coming out this spring, cowritten with her husband, James di Properzio: The Baby Bonding Book for Dads: Building a Closer Connection With Your Baby.

“Many new dads have never even held a baby, or they have little or no experience in taking care of babies. Men feel apprehensive and unsure about how to interact with their offspring, especially when that offspring is a tiny bundle that weighs under 10 pounds! That apprehension, though, shouldn’t put men into the back seat of parenting, as that would be taking a step back from one of the most important experiences of life. Men need to take the initiative and create their own ways of bonding with their children, right from the beginning. Topics include newborn bonding, carrying, skin-to-skin contact, diapering, going places, napping, playing, exercising, and reading to baby. This instructive yet lighthearted text is delivered from a dad who has been there (di Properzio is the father of three), and is paired with the delightful photography of Christopher Briscoe, making this book a handy guide and a perfect gift for any new father who’s feeling a little nervous about the new responsibility in his life.”

The book is available for pre-order, and will be out in time to give your favorite dad for Father’s Day.

Lovely Lady Lumps

December 15th, 2007

Read Elrena Evans’ column, “Lovely Lady Lumps” in the “Nutshell” section of the Winter 2008 issue of Brain, Child magazine. Elrena writes about the new trend in postpartum plastic surgery, with an insight into the issue from Mama, PhD contributor Jessica Smartt Gullion.

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