Offbeat Mama on Mama, PhD

May 8th, 2012

We love this recent post on Offbeat Mama, in which she compares Mama, PhD to a bible for academic women and writes, “Motherhood is, in a way, the most visceral and physical act of rebellion against academia that I have committed.”

Read the whole post here.

Call for Essays: Tao of Parenthood — Extended Deadline!

April 15th, 2012

There is no essential “Tao” or “way” of parenthood. This literary anthology of personal essays by and about writers of Asian ancestry will try to capture the multitude of perspectives on the impact of Asian culture, heritage, and identity on your experience as a child, on raising children, or on deciding whether to have children.

Click here for more information on submitting to this anthology.

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Call for Essays

February 1st, 2012

Tao of Parenthood: An Anthology of Essays

Description of Anthology:

There is no essential “Tao” or “way” of parenthood. This literary anthology of personal essays by and about writers of Asian ancestry will try to capture the multitude of perspectives on the impact of Asian culture, heritage, and identity on your experience as a child, on raising children, or on deciding whether to have children.

While Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” was a single narrative about a specific family, this anthology aims to open up the conversation. We are seeking stories to expand the perspectives of Asian parents and childhood within and beyond the American context. We welcome men and women writers with ancestry from Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives). We also welcome those who are not of Asian descent, but are raising children of Asian descent.

This unique collection of literary essays, memoirs, and short creative nonfiction will reveal the diverse experiences of Asian writers worldwide.

Who Should Submit An Essay:

Writers from various perspectives are welcome to submit essays of all forms. Anyone self-identifying as Asian or mixed heritage Asian in any way is invited to submit their first person essay. This is an inclusive collection and seeks to highlight as many true stories as possible. We hope to hear from various generations, parents, grandparents, extended family members, nontraditional families, and biological and adoptive adult children. Also, those who are considering parenthood or those who have chosen not to become parents or those experiencing fertility challenges. We would like to hear from as many voices of experience as possible.

The essays must be true stories exploring some aspect of Asian culture and parenthood.

Kinds of Essays We’re Interested In:

Tell us a unique story about growing up Asian or raising Asian children. Break a silence. Speak a truth. Our primary criterion is that the narrative be engaging, true, and well-written.

Were you raised or affected by an Asian parent? Are you an Asian parent today? Are you raising an Asian child(ren) from an adoption? In what ways has Asian identity, culture, or heritage influenced your perspective towards parenthood?

You might interview your parents and write this up. (See StoryCorps examples at and sample:

You may write on anything related to the topic, but if you’re looking for ideas, here are some questions that may help you begin.

1. What did you appreciate about your Asian parent(s)? What did you despise? How have these perspectives changed over time?
2. What impact does Asian culture or ancestry have on you as a parent?
3. Was there a specific cultural revelation about your parent(s) or child(ren) that has informed how you approach parenthood?
4. If you have decided against becoming a parent yourself, do any factors have to do with how you were raised in connection to cultural heritage?
5. What culture clashes occurred between you and your parent(s) or child(ren)?
6. Would you like to interview your parent(s) and whether their Asian cultural knowledge or experience impacted how you were raised?



Submission deadline is April 1, 2012.


Email your 750-3000 word essay (first person personal essay, memoir, creative nonfiction) for consideration as a Microsoft Word file (DOC, DOCX), PDF, or text file to along with a brief email introducing yourself. MLA-format preferred (12 pt Times New Roman, double spaced, page numbers, title, name).

Unpublished work is preferred, but your previously published work is welcomed if rights have reverted back to you and you can supply a text file. Expect a decision within 3 months of submission. Simultaneous submissions accepted, but please withdraw the piece as soon as it is accepted elsewhere.

We’re looking for true stories: creative nonfiction, literary essays, memoir, autobiographical comics, or other innovative forms. The work must be in English or translated to English.

Publication Details

We do not have a publisher yet, but we are seeking publication by April of 2014. At the very least, we will pursue print-on-demand and e-book format. We would like to pay our contributors, but at this point, this is a volunteer effort and we hope to raise enough money to offer contributor copies.

Contact Information
Please contact Anh Nguyen Merrick ( with questions.

About the Editors

Anh Nguyen Merrick immigrated from Vietnam to the U.S. with her parents at the age of 4. Anh majored in English Literature at Bryn Mawr College and completed her masters at Harvard Divinity School. She has a 3.5 yr. old child and has recently immigrated to Australia.

Grace Talusan immigrated from the Philippines to the U.S. with her parents at age 3. Grace was awarded an Artist Grant in Fiction Writing from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a residency at Hedgebrook, and other fellowships and awards. Her work has been published in Solstice, Boston Magazine, Boston Globe Magazine, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, and Grace teaches writing at Tufts University and Grub Street. Grace is not a mother, but a very active aunt to eight nieces and nephews.

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Mom’s Night Out!

April 6th, 2011

Join Caroline M. Grant, Samantha Parent Walravens, and Stacey Delo for a Moms’ Night Out this Mother’s Day week (why should it only last one day?).

What? A lively conversation about the struggle and juggle of motherhood today. Free and open to the public.

Where? Books Inc., 2251 Chestnut Street, San Francisco

When? Tuesday, May 3 at 7 p.m.

Who? Samantha is editor of the new anthology, Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career & the Conflict of Modern Motherhood; Caroline is co-editor of Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life, and Stacey is a Wall Street Journal editor and founder of Discussion Divas

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Papa, PhD!!

November 23rd, 2010

We’re delighted to announce that Papa, PhD: Essays on Fatherhood by Men in the Academy is now available from Rutgers University Press.

The anthology, edited by Mary Ruth Marrotte, Paige Martin Reynolds, and Ralph James Savarese, is a terrific and varied collection of essays by men at different stages of their fatherhood and academic careers. The book came about when Mary Ruth, a former colleague of Caroline’s at Stanford (the two were pregnant together), organized a Mama, PhD colloquium at her school and the participants wanted to discuss how the issues raised in the book were the same or differed for men. Two years later, the conversation unfolds in the pages of this book:

“[The contributors] are white, black, South Asian, Asian, and Arab. They are gay and straight, married and divorced. They are tenured and untenured, at research-one universities and at community colleges. Some write at the beginning of their careers, others at the end. But, perhaps most important they do not look back—they look forward to new parental and professional synergies as they reflect on what it means to be a father in the academy.

The fathers writing in Papa, PhD seek to expand their children’s horizons, giving them the gifts of better topic sentences and a cosmopolitan sensibility. They seriously consider the implications of gender theory and queer theory—even Marxist theory—and make relevant theoretical connections between their work and the less abstract, more pragmatic, world of fathering. What resonates is the astonishing range of forms that fatherhood can take as these dads challenge traditional norms by actively questioning the status quo.”

Here’s the Table of Contents:

Thinking Stiffs: An Introduction

Part One: Fathers in Theory, Fathers in Praxis: Merging Work and Parenting

Disney Dad by Amitava Kumar
Gaining a Daughter: A Father’s Transgendered Tale by Lennard J. Davis
Gifts from the Sea by David G. Campbell
The Luck of the Irish by F. D. Reeve
Shifting the Tectonic Plates of Academia by Jerald Walker
Hair-Raising Experiences by John W. Wells
A River Runs through It: Queer Theory and Fatherhood by Joseph Gelfer
On Writing and Rearing by David Haven Blake
Doing Things with Words by Ira L. Strauber
On Fecundity, Fidelity, and Expectation: Reflections on Philosophy and Fatherhood by J. Aaron Simmons
Sheathing the Sword by Gregory Orfalea

Part Two: Family Made: The Difference of Alternative or Delayed Fatherhood

Weighed but Found Wanting: Ten Years of Being Measured and Divided by Robert Mayer
Vespers, Matins, Lauds: The Life of a Liberal Arts College Professor by Ralph James Savarese
How White Was My Prairie by Mark Montgomery
Meniscus by Robert Gray
Once Was Lost by John Bryant
Shared Attention: Hearing Cameron’s Voice by Mark Osteen
Accidental Academic, Deliberate Dad by Kevin G. Barnhurst
Late Fatherhood among the Baptists by Andrew Hazucha
Being a Dad, Studying Fathers: Personal Reflections by William Marsiglio
Single Dad in Academia: Fatherhood and the Redemption of Scholarship by Eric H. du Plessis
Superheroes by Stanford W. Carpenter

Part Three: Forging New Fatherhoods: Ambitions Altered and Transformed

Maybe It Is Just Math: Fatherhood and Disease in Academia by Jason Thompson
Dreaming of Direction: Reconciling Fatherhood and Ambition by Mike Augspurger
Making a Home for Family and Scholarship by Ting Man Tsao
Change Is Here, but We Need to Talk about It: Reflections on Black Fatherhood in the Academy by Jeffrey B. Leak
Vocabularies and Their Subversion: A Reminiscence by John Domini
Balancing Diapers and a Doctorate: The Adventures of a Single Dad in Grad School by Charles Bane
It’s a Chapter-Book, Huh: Teaching, Writing, and Early Fatherhood by Alex Vernon
Pitcher This: An Academic Dad’s Award-Winning Attempt to Be in Two Places at Once by Colin Irvine
Odd Quirks by Chris Gabbard
The Precarious Private Life of Professor Father Fiction Chef and Other Possible Poignancies by Gary H. McCullough

Ask for it in your local bookstore or look for it online today!

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Make Your Opinion Known!

August 4th, 2010

Participate in this University of Memphis survey on advertising

From Christine Kowalczyk, Doctoral Candidate, University of Memphis:

Today’s children are growing up in a society where they are exposed to televisions, video games and computers at younger ages. As parent of a 3 year old and a 1 year old, I am concerned about marketing and advertising toward young children through these mediums, thus I am interested in hearing other parent’s opinions about this topic. The purpose of this study is to investigate parents’ attitudes toward advertising, both for themselves and their young children, aged 2- to 7-years old. By responding to the survey, you have the opportunity to be entered into a drawing to win a $50 online gift certificate. You will not be solicited other requests in the future. You must have a child between the ages of 2 and 7 years old, including these ages.

The survey will take less than 10 minutes of your time and can only be completed once. Click on this link:
survey link
or paste the following into your browser:

Thank you for your opinions! Please feel free to share the link with family and friends.

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Celebrate World Read Aloud Day!

February 25th, 2010

People write to me at Literary Mama fairly regularly, asking me to help them promote this or that event, and most of the time the events don’t have much to do with the mission of Literary Mama. But when I heard from the folks at LitWorld about World Read Aloud Day, it was easy to offer our help, especially since it means I get to a) read aloud to kids (including my own!) and b) promote the celebration on television.

So join me on World Read Aloud Day, March 3rd, at Books, Inc. in San Francisco’s Laurel Village, from 6 – 7 PM for a bedtime story reading. I’ll be joined by my friends and fellow writer-mamas Lisa Harper and Nicki Richesin. Bring the kids in their pj’s for a fun evening outing!

Writing about Reading, from Rebecca Steinitz

February 17th, 2010

I was so happy when, a couple months ago, Mama, PhD contributor Rebecca Steinitz pitched a column to Literary Mama; every installment of How Does My Bookshelf Grow? has given me new book ideas and new ways to think about the books I’ve already read. This month might be my favorite installment yet, with its smart and thoughtful consideration of public and private reading. Here’s an excerpt:

“I read New York Times book reporter Motoko Rich’s recent Week in Review article, “The Book Club With Just One Member,” with mixed feelings. I’ve never joined a book club; as a graduate student in English, then an English professor, now a reviewer, they always seemed a little too coals-to-Newcastleish for me. Nevertheless, Rich’s apparent disdain for the current status of reading as “a relentlessly social pursuit” rubbed me the wrong way.”

Please click on over to Literary Mama to read the rest!

New Writing from Sheila Squilante

February 15th, 2010

Sheila Squillante’s essay for Mama, PhD, Student/Body, describes her experience teaching a Business Writing class during her first pregnancy; this month on Literary Mama, she writes about her son’s infancy
and her hopes for an easier time with her second:

When I found myself pregnant a second time I promised myself it would be different. I was so ready to be laid back and flexible. To let her cry for more than five seconds before leaping up to tend her needs. To avoid curtailing our social life because of her schedule. She can nap in the car on the way to my friend’s house, I told myself. I was going to roll with it this time around. I had had a hard pregnancy — much harder than my first–with so much pain, nausea and discomfort on every possible bodily level. I fooled myself into believing my delivery and early days would be easier, should be easier. I had earned it, hadn’t I? And everyone but everyone had told me: second kids are easier.

Click on over to Literary Mama to read the rest.

Call for Proposals: Exploring More Signature Pedagogies

February 1st, 2010

This just in from Mama, PhD contributor Aeron Haynie:

“We are seeking proposals for chapters in follow-up to Exploring Signature Pedagogies: Approaches to Teaching Disciplinary Habits of Mind (Stylus, 2009), under contract with Stylus Publishing. Each chapter should briefly introduce a discipline, provide a brief literature review of the scholarship of teaching and learning (or the lack thereof) in the discipline, describe and evaluate the discipline’s traditional pedagogies and practices, and articulate elements of existing or potential signature pedagogies. Each chapter will also be grounded in strong literature reviews and written in a lucid, engaging style.

Exploring Signature Pedagogies included chapters on history, literary studies, creative writing, music, visual and performing arts, geography, human development, psychology, sociology, agriculture, biology, computer science, mathematics, and physics. For this “sequel,” we are looking for considerations of other disciplines, inter-disciplines, and professions, such as the following:

o foreign language

o philosophy

o political science

o communication

o chemistry

o business/economics

o economics

o engineering

o anthropology

o social work

o interdisciplinary studies

o women’s studies

o new media studies

o education

o medicine

o nursing

o others?

Some of these fields have an existing literature on their signature pedagogy, so proposals should reflect a familiarity with these publications, as well as plans to summarize and extend this work. Completed chapters should be approximately 4,100 words, including works cited. Co-authored chapters are welcome.

Proposals are due on March 15 and should include a two-page (double-spaced) description of the chapter and a CV reflecting each author’s qualifications and experience with SoTL.

Proposals should be sent to nancy.chick AT uwc DOT edu. Questions and queries can be addressed to the editors Nancy Chick (nancy.chick AT uwc DOT edu), Aeron Haynie (haynieaATuwgbDOTedu), and Regan Gurung (gurungrATuwgbDOTedu).

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