Feminist Activism in Academia

Essays on Personal, Political and Professional Change


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About the Book

The eleven essays making up this book unite scholars from various disciplines to explore how feminists live, survive, and thrive in academia. The pieces investigate innovative ways that women academics occupy the space of the Academy as real living bodies while resisting being judged, devalued, or valued on the basis of their biological bodies. Specific themes include abortion rights activism, authority in the classroom, feminist mentoring, the role of women’s studies programs, division of labor, and the role of theater and performance in enacting lasting change.

About the Author(s)

Ellen C. Mayockis a professor of Spanish and a core faculty member in Women’s and Gender Studies and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Washington and Lee University.
Domnica Radulescu is a distinguished professor of Romance languages at Washington and Lee University. She has authored, edited, or coedited nine scholarly books and collections of essays. Two of her plays have received recognition from the Jane Chambers Playwriting award and she is the author of two best-selling novels, with a third novel soon to be released. She is the founding director of the National Symposium of Theater in Academe.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Ellen C. Mayock and Domnica Radulescu
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 206
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4568-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5770-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents


Ellen Mayock and Domnica Radulescu      1

Part I: Feminist Pedagogies and Mentorship

Defending a Choice for Women: A Feminist Video Ethnography

Beverly Yuen Thompson      11

Get Out of My Uterus! A Manifesto against Reproductive Politics in the Academic World and in the World at Large

Domnica Radulescu      27

Teaching to Spite Your Body

Robin M. LeBlanc      45

Running the Gauntlet: Battling Sexism in Academia with Greasepaint, Bed Sheets, and Mardi Gras Beads

Norma Bowles      61

Feminist Mentorship in the Academy: Revolutionary Feminism in Action

Jennifer A. Boisvert      78

Mothering Out of Place: Deconstructing the Maternal Wall in Academia

Jeanine Silveira Stewart      98

Part II: Negotiating the Academy

Post-Tenure: A Performance of Blatant Subversion

Kathleen Juhl      112

“Mothering Language” in the Academic Workplace

Ellen Mayock      126

On the Front Lines: Feminist Activism in a Catholic University

Cate Siejk and Jane A. Rinehart      142

Motherhood Status and the Limits of Flexibility: Recognition and Invisibility among Women Faculty at a Public Liberal Arts University

Karin E. Peterson and Alice A.Weldon      160

The Tender Track

Sara Warner      176

About the Contributors      191

Index      195

Book Reviews & Awards

“Each of the authors takes a different approach in how she view and experiences the academy…this diversity adds richness and complexity to the volume”—Feminist Formations; “illuminating, inspiring and inventive, this collection documents the ongoing struggle women in academia face in their efforts to help obliterate sexism and its ideological as well as practical consequences”—Letras Femeninas; “This collection clarifies the vexations of trying to be an ethical professor, an honorable human being, and a woman, in a context in which ‘female’ and ‘academic’ are too often oxymoronic. Each writer details struggles faced in the classroom, at faculty meetings, or during parents’ weekend, as they find their authority challenged because of their gender. Filled with personal and theoretical wisdom, these essays shake the ivory tower at its foundation in white upper-class male privilege.”—Jill Dolan, Director, Program in the Study of Women and Gender, Princeton University.