Mama, PhD: Women Write about Motherhood and Academic Life

Mama, PhD: Women Write about Motherhood and Academic Life



10 thoughts on “Mama, PhD: Women Write about Motherhood and Academic Life

  1. Elevate Difference Elevate Difference says:

    At the beginning of the second year of my MA program in English, I found out that one of my advisors was pregnant I ll never forget what she said to me You know, you would think that academia would be a supportive place to have a kid It s so not She was a then junior faculty member, and would put off going up for tenure for two years When I started reading the individual essays in Mama PhD, I realized that my advisor s story was the rule rather than the exception The collection is divide At the beginning of the second year of my MA program in English, I found out that one of my advisors was pregnant I ll never forget what she said to me You know, you would think that academia would be a supportive place to have a kid It s so not She was a then junior faculty member, and would put off going up for tenure for two years When I started reading the individual essays in Mama PhD, I realized that my advisor s story was the rule rather than the exception The collection is divided into four sections, Part One The Conversation Part II That Mommy Thing Part IV Recovering Academic and Part V Momifesto You can find many of contributors in the online journal Literary Mama especially the editors, Evans and Grant , though for the most part they represent a range of academic fields, from biology to philosophy.For the most part, the essays in Mama PhD are concerned with capturing the deep ambivalence the authors feel in their abilities to balance parenthood and professional demands of teaching, committee work, and research Indeed, some women, such as Jessica Smartt Guillon, depict experiences of pregnancies met with blatant hostility even from mentors and colleagues who claim to be feminist Others stories capture women s hard won academic success in the midst of raising several children, like Leah Bradshaw s powerful essay The Facts, The Stories But make no mistake this collection is an unequivocal critique of the infrastructure or lack thereof in place for women who want to explore their identities as both mothers and intellectuals The joint essay Nontraditional Academics issues a call for women who leave the academy temporarily or permanently to pursue their interest in full time motherhood to stop hiding and join forces to build a community and increase visibility While Mama PhD is certainly aimed for women in academia and the men, women, and children who love them those readers interested in feminist issues in the world of work will also find this collection a compelling and provocative read.Review by Heather Brown


  2. Jeannette Jeannette says:

    This book made me feel like I wasn t a loser after all It is a collection of several essays by women grappling with their scholarly and motherly identities.


  3. Literary Mama Literary Mama says:

    My first reaction to Mama, PhD, a provocative collection of 35 personal essays and commentaries by 42 women about motherhood and academic life, was a powerful desire to tell my own story Edited by Elrena Evans and Caroline Grant, the book features deeply personal and engaging essays that bring to life many facets of this topic the internal fracturing that comes with considering whether or not to have a child, vivid descriptions of the body s blossoming during pregnancy, poignant accounts of ho My first reaction to Mama, PhD, a provocative collection of 35 personal essays and commentaries by 42 women about motherhood and academic life, was a powerful desire to tell my own story Edited by Elrena Evans and Caroline Grant, the book features deeply personal and engaging essays that bring to life many facets of this topic the internal fracturing that comes with considering whether or not to have a child, vivid descriptions of the body s blossoming during pregnancy, poignant accounts of how it feels to be sidelined by insensitive comments, the heartbreak of leaving one s child in someone else s care, the infamous fog of Mommy Brain In addition, much of the writing is peppered with winsome humor, including laugh out loud descriptions of wedging a pregnant body into a desk chair combination of the type that graces most university classrooms Evans or of fielding potential names for a baby from mostly male undergraduates Sheila Squillante.The essays are loosely grouped into four sections The Conversation is about attempts to synchronize motherhood with the demands of an academic career That Mommy Thing describes being in the thick of parenting and scholarly work Recovering Academic tells of academic mothers who redefine themselves after their ivory tower experience and Momifesto explores strategies to better align motherhood and an academic career It s all there women who decide to remain childless, some who experience infertility, pregnancy loss abortion as well as miscarriage , and adoption, some who want one child only and one who ends up with six , some who co and tag team parent with supportive spouses and others who endure nasty break ups and divorce or make do as single mothers Still, I suspect these stories only scratch the surface of the topic.Read the rest of Esther Wyss Flamm s review at Literary Mama


  4. Emily Emily says:

    Highly recommend The essays are a little uneven and even sometimes discouraging, but this is a must read for every woman in academia I feel confirmed in who I am and what I do through reading the stories of my peers.


  5. Mary Mary says:

    This book is needed Andresearch on mothering in academia, or anywhere outside of the home, is necessary and important It s an excellent book.


  6. Jules Jules says:

    this is a must read for every academic especially those identifying as male.


  7. Megan Megan says:

    This was an enjoyable collection of stories, especially for a new mom grad student feeling disillusioned with academia.The editors did a nice job of cultivating a variety of stories Some were success stories, while others were extremely discouraging but that was good, because it feltreal I read some stories feeling hopeful for the future, some stories worried about my prospects, and others grateful for the hurdles I avoided in my own journey.Some of the stories were a drag, and so many This was an enjoyable collection of stories, especially for a new mom grad student feeling disillusioned with academia.The editors did a nice job of cultivating a variety of stories Some were success stories, while others were extremely discouraging but that was good, because it feltreal I read some stories feeling hopeful for the future, some stories worried about my prospects, and others grateful for the hurdles I avoided in my own journey.Some of the stories were a drag, and so many of the stories were from women in disciplines and programs completely different from mine I was heartbroken for the number of mothers who experienced terrible, offensive reactions to their pregnancies and the birth or even simple existence of their children It made me appreciate where I am in ways I never could have anticipated It also was a bit of a smack in the face of my naivete The idea that I simply decided to get pregnant without consulting anyone within the system, that I announced it without fear of consequences, that I made my own schedule and modified it as needed to suit my pregnancy and birth and time at home with my child, that I expected to be accommodated And yet, I mfirmly convinced that this is how it should be.I recommend this to any mother in academia, with children of any age, whether or not you feel supported by your program, whether you planned carefully or were surprised I think you ll find a little something for you here Book picked based entirely on the cover Popsugar Book Challenge 2015


  8. Jennifer Glass Jennifer Glass says:

    A thought provoking book, that brings up common themes 1 most academics don t know how to deal with people with babies and 2 babies are way harder than you think before you get pregnant I was disappointed that so few of the essays were written by women who successfully combined motherhood and academia Amen to this quote actually taken from another paper, Drago Williams, 2000 We should stop measuring commitment by the ability of an academic to have a spouse ready, willing, and able t A thought provoking book, that brings up common themes 1 most academics don t know how to deal with people with babies and 2 babies are way harder than you think before you get pregnant I was disappointed that so few of the essays were written by women who successfully combined motherhood and academia Amen to this quote actually taken from another paper, Drago Williams, 2000 We should stop measuring commitment by the ability of an academic to have a spouse ready, willing, and able to shoulder the bulk of the child caring during the most time consuming years of child rearing when the children are young The current system is bad for women and it is inconsistent with our ideals for gender equality Although I felt that most of the book contained negative impressions of juggling motherhood and academia, there were a few essays that I particularly enjoyed Living A Life I Never Planned by Rosemarie Emanuele One Mama s Dispensable Myths and Indispensable Machines by Angelica Duran Infinite Calculations by Della Fenster The Orange Kangaroo by Nicole Cooley and Julia Spicher Kasdorf Ideal Mama, Ideal Worker Negotiating Guilt and Shame in Academe by Jean Anne Sutherland and Momifesto Affirmations for the Academic Mother by Cynthia Kohn, Josie Mills, Christy Rowe and Erin Webster Garrett


  9. Joni Joni says:

    I was recommended this book while at a conference in the US with my then 5 month old Now that I ve finished it, I am very thankful that I chose to take my PhD in the UK Sure, it s not easy trying to get it finished, while looking after a 9 month old quel surprise but the amount of support available here is so much better than what is described for the US in this book I had plenty of unpaid leave, my college will pay half the childcare costs should I want it, my library rights continue I was recommended this book while at a conference in the US with my then 5 month old Now that I ve finished it, I am very thankful that I chose to take my PhD in the UK Sure, it s not easy trying to get it finished, while looking after a 9 month old quel surprise but the amount of support available here is so much better than what is described for the US in this book I had plenty of unpaid leave, my college will pay half the childcare costs should I want it, my library rights continued while I was on leave etc That some US universities revoke the library rights of students staff on maternity leave is unbelievably nasty And I have encountered nothing but kindness and support from my supervisor, advisors, department chair, peers and students I dont think this is just luck It s still far from ideal here, but the laws, institutional policies and social attitudes are starting to head in the right direction It made me sad and angry to think of all these talented women and their families making such ridiculous sacrifices and often putting up with nasty attitudes and practices in order to do two fundamentally important things work and raise a family These two things are meant to be hard, but they shouldn t be this difficult Give the women their library cards back, dammit


  10. Asho Asho says:

    If anything, this book simply drove home a suspicion I have had since joining a PhD program at a major research university motherhood and the tenure track are not compatible Although the essays were insightful, I was hoping for auplifting collection It s depressing how few of the women represented seem to satisfactorily juggle parenting and academia It seems like the essay writers either gave up or vastly modified their academic careers to suit family life, or gave up spending time wit If anything, this book simply drove home a suspicion I have had since joining a PhD program at a major research university motherhood and the tenure track are not compatible Although the essays were insightful, I was hoping for auplifting collection It s depressing how few of the women represented seem to satisfactorily juggle parenting and academia It seems like the essay writers either gave up or vastly modified their academic careers to suit family life, or gave up spending time with their children while they were young in favor of continuing to pursue an academic career I realize that the work life balance is very much a myth and all working mothers make these decisions and all mothers who opt NOT to work end up worry about that choice, too , but it s particularly depressing to read the essays in this book that point out seemingly simple solutions to some of the challenges facing mothers in academia that the system cannot seem to embrace.I m glad I read this book now because it made me realize how greatly women underestimate how a baby will change their lives Reading it inspired me to finish as much of my dissertation as possible before the baby arrives and then to be flexible in considering academic jobs after he arrives


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Mama, PhD: Women Write about Motherhood and Academic Life [Read] ➵ Mama, PhD: Women Write about Motherhood and Academic Life By Elrena Evans – Polishdarling.co.uk 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 num Every year, American universities publish glowing Women Write eBook ☆ 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 Mama, PhD: PDF/EPUB or 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 colleaguesAmid 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 family friendly workplacesThe contributors hail PhD: Women Write PDF Å 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 pregnantCandid, 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.


10 thoughts on “Mama, PhD: Women Write about Motherhood and Academic Life

  1. Elevate Difference Elevate Difference says:

    At the beginning of the second year of my MA program in English, I found out that one of my advisors was pregnant I ll never forget what she said to me You know, you would think that academia would be a supportive place to have a kid It s so not She was a then junior faculty member, and would put off going up for tenure for two years When I started reading the individual essays in Mama PhD, I realized that my advisor s story was the rule rather than the exception The collection is divide At the beginning of the second year of my MA program in English, I found out that one of my advisors was pregnant I ll never forget what she said to me You know, you would think that academia would be a supportive place to have a kid It s so not She was a then junior faculty member, and would put off going up for tenure for two years When I started reading the individual essays in Mama PhD, I realized that my advisor s story was the rule rather than the exception The collection is divided into four sections, Part One The Conversation Part II That Mommy Thing Part IV Recovering Academic and Part V Momifesto You can find many of contributors in the online journal Literary Mama especially the editors, Evans and Grant , though for the most part they represent a range of academic fields, from biology to philosophy.For the most part, the essays in Mama PhD are concerned with capturing the deep ambivalence the authors feel in their abilities to balance parenthood and professional demands of teaching, committee work, and research Indeed, some women, such as Jessica Smartt Guillon, depict experiences of pregnancies met with blatant hostility even from mentors and colleagues who claim to be feminist Others stories capture women s hard won academic success in the midst of raising several children, like Leah Bradshaw s powerful essay The Facts, The Stories But make no mistake this collection is an unequivocal critique of the infrastructure or lack thereof in place for women who want to explore their identities as both mothers and intellectuals The joint essay Nontraditional Academics issues a call for women who leave the academy temporarily or permanently to pursue their interest in full time motherhood to stop hiding and join forces to build a community and increase visibility While Mama PhD is certainly aimed for women in academia and the men, women, and children who love them those readers interested in feminist issues in the world of work will also find this collection a compelling and provocative read.Review by Heather Brown


  2. Jeannette Jeannette says:

    This book made me feel like I wasn t a loser after all It is a collection of several essays by women grappling with their scholarly and motherly identities.


  3. Literary Mama Literary Mama says:

    My first reaction to Mama, PhD, a provocative collection of 35 personal essays and commentaries by 42 women about motherhood and academic life, was a powerful desire to tell my own story Edited by Elrena Evans and Caroline Grant, the book features deeply personal and engaging essays that bring to life many facets of this topic the internal fracturing that comes with considering whether or not to have a child, vivid descriptions of the body s blossoming during pregnancy, poignant accounts of ho My first reaction to Mama, PhD, a provocative collection of 35 personal essays and commentaries by 42 women about motherhood and academic life, was a powerful desire to tell my own story Edited by Elrena Evans and Caroline Grant, the book features deeply personal and engaging essays that bring to life many facets of this topic the internal fracturing that comes with considering whether or not to have a child, vivid descriptions of the body s blossoming during pregnancy, poignant accounts of how it feels to be sidelined by insensitive comments, the heartbreak of leaving one s child in someone else s care, the infamous fog of Mommy Brain In addition, much of the writing is peppered with winsome humor, including laugh out loud descriptions of wedging a pregnant body into a desk chair combination of the type that graces most university classrooms Evans or of fielding potential names for a baby from mostly male undergraduates Sheila Squillante.The essays are loosely grouped into four sections The Conversation is about attempts to synchronize motherhood with the demands of an academic career That Mommy Thing describes being in the thick of parenting and scholarly work Recovering Academic tells of academic mothers who redefine themselves after their ivory tower experience and Momifesto explores strategies to better align motherhood and an academic career It s all there women who decide to remain childless, some who experience infertility, pregnancy loss abortion as well as miscarriage , and adoption, some who want one child only and one who ends up with six , some who co and tag team parent with supportive spouses and others who endure nasty break ups and divorce or make do as single mothers Still, I suspect these stories only scratch the surface of the topic.Read the rest of Esther Wyss Flamm s review at Literary Mama


  4. Emily Emily says:

    Highly recommend The essays are a little uneven and even sometimes discouraging, but this is a must read for every woman in academia I feel confirmed in who I am and what I do through reading the stories of my peers.


  5. Mary Mary says:

    This book is needed Andresearch on mothering in academia, or anywhere outside of the home, is necessary and important It s an excellent book.


  6. Jules Jules says:

    this is a must read for every academic especially those identifying as male.


  7. Megan Megan says:

    This was an enjoyable collection of stories, especially for a new mom grad student feeling disillusioned with academia.The editors did a nice job of cultivating a variety of stories Some were success stories, while others were extremely discouraging but that was good, because it feltreal I read some stories feeling hopeful for the future, some stories worried about my prospects, and others grateful for the hurdles I avoided in my own journey.Some of the stories were a drag, and so many This was an enjoyable collection of stories, especially for a new mom grad student feeling disillusioned with academia.The editors did a nice job of cultivating a variety of stories Some were success stories, while others were extremely discouraging but that was good, because it feltreal I read some stories feeling hopeful for the future, some stories worried about my prospects, and others grateful for the hurdles I avoided in my own journey.Some of the stories were a drag, and so many of the stories were from women in disciplines and programs completely different from mine I was heartbroken for the number of mothers who experienced terrible, offensive reactions to their pregnancies and the birth or even simple existence of their children It made me appreciate where I am in ways I never could have anticipated It also was a bit of a smack in the face of my naivete The idea that I simply decided to get pregnant without consulting anyone within the system, that I announced it without fear of consequences, that I made my own schedule and modified it as needed to suit my pregnancy and birth and time at home with my child, that I expected to be accommodated And yet, I mfirmly convinced that this is how it should be.I recommend this to any mother in academia, with children of any age, whether or not you feel supported by your program, whether you planned carefully or were surprised I think you ll find a little something for you here Book picked based entirely on the cover Popsugar Book Challenge 2015


  8. Jennifer Glass Jennifer Glass says:

    A thought provoking book, that brings up common themes 1 most academics don t know how to deal with people with babies and 2 babies are way harder than you think before you get pregnant I was disappointed that so few of the essays were written by women who successfully combined motherhood and academia Amen to this quote actually taken from another paper, Drago Williams, 2000 We should stop measuring commitment by the ability of an academic to have a spouse ready, willing, and able t A thought provoking book, that brings up common themes 1 most academics don t know how to deal with people with babies and 2 babies are way harder than you think before you get pregnant I was disappointed that so few of the essays were written by women who successfully combined motherhood and academia Amen to this quote actually taken from another paper, Drago Williams, 2000 We should stop measuring commitment by the ability of an academic to have a spouse ready, willing, and able to shoulder the bulk of the child caring during the most time consuming years of child rearing when the children are young The current system is bad for women and it is inconsistent with our ideals for gender equality Although I felt that most of the book contained negative impressions of juggling motherhood and academia, there were a few essays that I particularly enjoyed Living A Life I Never Planned by Rosemarie Emanuele One Mama s Dispensable Myths and Indispensable Machines by Angelica Duran Infinite Calculations by Della Fenster The Orange Kangaroo by Nicole Cooley and Julia Spicher Kasdorf Ideal Mama, Ideal Worker Negotiating Guilt and Shame in Academe by Jean Anne Sutherland and Momifesto Affirmations for the Academic Mother by Cynthia Kohn, Josie Mills, Christy Rowe and Erin Webster Garrett


  9. Joni Joni says:

    I was recommended this book while at a conference in the US with my then 5 month old Now that I ve finished it, I am very thankful that I chose to take my PhD in the UK Sure, it s not easy trying to get it finished, while looking after a 9 month old quel surprise but the amount of support available here is so much better than what is described for the US in this book I had plenty of unpaid leave, my college will pay half the childcare costs should I want it, my library rights continue I was recommended this book while at a conference in the US with my then 5 month old Now that I ve finished it, I am very thankful that I chose to take my PhD in the UK Sure, it s not easy trying to get it finished, while looking after a 9 month old quel surprise but the amount of support available here is so much better than what is described for the US in this book I had plenty of unpaid leave, my college will pay half the childcare costs should I want it, my library rights continued while I was on leave etc That some US universities revoke the library rights of students staff on maternity leave is unbelievably nasty And I have encountered nothing but kindness and support from my supervisor, advisors, department chair, peers and students I dont think this is just luck It s still far from ideal here, but the laws, institutional policies and social attitudes are starting to head in the right direction It made me sad and angry to think of all these talented women and their families making such ridiculous sacrifices and often putting up with nasty attitudes and practices in order to do two fundamentally important things work and raise a family These two things are meant to be hard, but they shouldn t be this difficult Give the women their library cards back, dammit


  10. Asho Asho says:

    If anything, this book simply drove home a suspicion I have had since joining a PhD program at a major research university motherhood and the tenure track are not compatible Although the essays were insightful, I was hoping for auplifting collection It s depressing how few of the women represented seem to satisfactorily juggle parenting and academia It seems like the essay writers either gave up or vastly modified their academic careers to suit family life, or gave up spending time wit If anything, this book simply drove home a suspicion I have had since joining a PhD program at a major research university motherhood and the tenure track are not compatible Although the essays were insightful, I was hoping for auplifting collection It s depressing how few of the women represented seem to satisfactorily juggle parenting and academia It seems like the essay writers either gave up or vastly modified their academic careers to suit family life, or gave up spending time with their children while they were young in favor of continuing to pursue an academic career I realize that the work life balance is very much a myth and all working mothers make these decisions and all mothers who opt NOT to work end up worry about that choice, too , but it s particularly depressing to read the essays in this book that point out seemingly simple solutions to some of the challenges facing mothers in academia that the system cannot seem to embrace.I m glad I read this book now because it made me realize how greatly women underestimate how a baby will change their lives Reading it inspired me to finish as much of my dissertation as possible before the baby arrives and then to be flexible in considering academic jobs after he arrives


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