Featuring forthright testimonials by women who are or have been mothers as undergraduates, graduate students, academic staff, administrators, and professors, Mothers in Academia intimately portrays the experiences of women at various stages of motherhood while theoretically and empirically considering the conditions of working motherhood as academic life has become more laborious. As higher learning institutions have moved toward more corporate-based models of teaching, immense structural and cultural changes have transformed women's academic lives and, by extension, their families. Hoping to push reform as well as build recognition and a sense of community, this collection offers several potential solutions for integrating female scholars more wholly into academic life. Essays also reveal the often stark differences between women's encounters with the academy and the disparities among various ranks of women working in academia. Contributors--including many women of color--call attention to tokenism, scarce valuable networks, and the persistent burden to prove academic credentials. They also explore gendered parenting within the contexts of colonialism, racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, ageism, and heterosexism.
The coverage in these essays is comprehensive and impressively diverse. They prove very useful to other academic mothers (and, perhaps, fathers) who feel alone and need confirmation that the problem is not personal but cultural and structural.
Heather Hewett, State University of New York, New Paltz
Deftly unpacks complex issues, emotions, and professional questions.
Victoria Rosner, Columbia University
Mothers in Academia provides much-needed first-person accounts of the impact of motherhood on those who serve and learn in the academy.
Mothers in Academia is unique in that it fuses personal experience with theory, resulting in a rich narrative analysis few books are as comprehensive.
Introduction: Speaking Truth to Power to Change the Ivory Tower (Mari Castañeda and Kirsten Isgro)
Part I. Working/Learning in the Academy While Working/Learning as a Mom
1. How We Learned to Stop Worrying and to Enjoy Having It All (Michelle Kuhl, Michelle Mouton, Margaret Hostetler, Druscilla Scribner, Tracy Slagter, and Orlee Hauser)
2. Academia or Bust: Feeding the Hungry Mouths of the University, Babies, and Ourselves (Larissa M. Mercado-López)
3. Diverse Academic Support for an Employee, Mother, and Nontraditional Student (Wendy K. Wilde)
4. Breaking the Glass Ceiling While Being a Mother: Parenting, Teaching, Research, and Administration (Kim Powell)
5. To Tell or Not to Tell: Single Motherhood and the Academic Job Market (Virginia L. Lewis)
6. Class, Race, and Motherhood: Raising Children of Color in a Space of Privilege (Irene Mata)
Part II. Unexpected Challenges and Momentous Revelations
7. Four Kids and a Dissertation: Queering the Balance Between Family and Academia (Vanessa Adel)
8. "Tía María de la Maternity Leave": Reflections on Race, Class, and the Natural-Birth Experience (Susana L. Gallardo)
9. Threads That Bind: A Testimonio to Puerto Rican Working Mothers (Maura I. Toro-Morn)
10. Parenting Within the Nexus of Race, Class, and Gender Oppression in Graduate School at a Historically Black College/University (Olivia Perlow)
11. Sobreviviendo (and Thriving) in the Academy: My Tías' Counterconsejos and Advice (J. Estrella Torrez)
12. Revolving Doors: Mother-Woman Rhythms in Academic Spaces (Allia A. Matta)
Part III. Creating More Parent-Friendly Institutions of Higher Learning
13. Academic Library Policies: Advocating for Mothers' Research and Service Needs (Gilda Baeza Ortego)
14. Reimagining the Fairytale of Motherhood in the Academy (Barbara A. W. Eversole, Darlene M. Hantzis, and Mandy A. Reid)
15. Tales from the Tenure Track: The Necessity of Social Support in Balancing the Challenges of Tenure and Motherhood (Sandra L. French and Lisa Baker-Webster)
16. How Higher Education Became Accessible to Single Mothers: An Unfinished Story (Summer R. Cunningham)
17. Making It Work: Success Strategies for Graduate Student Mothers (Erynn Masi de Casanova and Tamara Mose Brown)
18. Academic Mothers on Leave (but on the Clock), on the Line (and off the Record): Toward Improving Parental-Leave Policies and Practices (Colleen S. Conley and Devin C. Carey)
19. Supporting Academic Mothers: Creating a Work Environment with Choices (Brenda K. Bushouse)
Epilogue: Final Reflections (Mari Castañeda and Kirsten Isgro)
List of Contributors
Read the introduction, "Speaking Truth to Power to Change the Ivory Tower," (to view in full screen, click on icon in bottom right-hand corner)