One of the best things I’ve ever seen on the internet is philosopher Linda Martín Alcoff’s employment history. http://www.alcoff.com/content/emphis.html It starts with babysitter, has waitress at Pizza Hut in the middle, and ends with Professor of Philosophy. When I read that, I felt relieved and grateful that for once a well-known academic wasn’t pretending that being a professor was the only kind of work they’d ever done. I loved that Alcoff wasn’t hiding the kinds of labor she’d preformed on the way to becoming a famous academic.
I could certainly post my own similar employment history that would start with babysitting and include working at a McDonalds on a highway. Instead, in the spirit of Mothering in the Academy, I’d like to post all of the kinds of academic mothers I’ve been.
- Pregnant PhD candidate
- Graduate Student Mother of a baby with only part time childcare
- On the job market while nursing and with a young toddler
- Adjunct mother (at an R1 and a community college) with toddler
- Unemployed academic mother with preschooler
- On the job market while pregnant
- Tenure track mother at a regional master’s degree institution
- Tenure track mother while pregnant and with a preschool child in a department where no other faculty members had children
- Tenure track mother with newborn baby and no paid parental leave at an institution where the tenure clock does not stop
- Tenure track mother with two kids under 6
- Tenure track mother, teaching and attending conferences while nursing
- Tenure track mother with a partner who couldn’t find work in our home state
- Tenure track mother with a commuter marriage
- Tenured mother with a commuter marriage and two children
- Tenured mother in a department that now has several faculty members who are either expecting children or have small children at home.
- Visiting Scholar at an elite R1 university, on leave from tenured position so her family can live together.
I bring all of these experiences to this blog and my work coaching parents in the academy.
So tell me, what kind of academic are you today, and what kind have you been in the past?