Susan Bassow earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1995, and a Masters from the University of Washington in Quantitative Ecology in 1989. Her dissertation on climate change and its impacts on forests led to an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship in Washington, DC, where she worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and President Clinton’s White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (before and throughout her first pregnancy). Currently, Susan serves on the Board of Trustees for the Thorne Ecological Institute, organizes the science fair and other science and math programs for the local elementary school, and directs her passion for science and nature into caring fulltime for her two children, ages six and nine. In a typical week, Susan and her daughters and husband explore nearby fields and ponds, hike in the mountains, feed butterflies, and promote science and math education. This was a huge, and yet very rewarding change of pace from her days working in the White House Science Office.
Leah Bradshaw is a political theorist at Brock University in Canada. She wrote a doctoral thesis, then a book, on Hannah Arendt, to whom she remains indebted for Arendt’s example of how to live, love and think. Recent work has been on the relationship between emotions and judgment, narrative and philosophy, classical notions of love, and empire and polis. She has three children, all of whom call her Mom, and one mother who insists on calling her Doctor.
After enjoying years of great travel benefits studying the evolution of a large group of South American butterflies, Dana Campbell finished her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1998, just as her first daughter was born. Despite an attractive post-doc offer at the University of Maryland working in the exciting new field of “Evo-Devo” she chose instead to stay at home with her baby. She is still “at home” full time – now with two daughters and a bunch of other interesting projects which include building an interactive animal database for kids, writing a science/psychology activity book for parents of young children, and developing a website for Non-Traditional Academics. Dana and family live just outside of Washington DC and spend summers in the beautiful San Juan Islands of Washington State.
Jennifer Cognard-Black’s teaching at St. Mary’s College of Maryland is akin to the multi-tasking she engages to be both a professor and a mother. Her courses range from fiction writing to Victorian literature to a class on the literatures of food, “Books that Cook.” Her publications include a book on female literary friendships across the Atlantic, Narrative in the Professional Age (Routledge 2004) and a co-edited collection of letters by Victorian women writers, Kindred Hands (University of Iowa Press 2006). Under the pseudonym J. Annie MacLeod, she also publishes short stories, and, most recently, she’s written an article for MS. magazine on plastic surgery. Yet Jennifer is most proud of her daughter, Katharine–her truth and her light.
Nicole Cooley has published two books of poetry, Resurrection (winner of the 1995 Walt Whitman Award) and The Afflicted Girls and a novel, Judy Garland, Ginger Love. Her writing on mothering has appeared in the anthologies Toddler, The Best of Literary Mama and Fence Books’ recent collection, Not For Mothers Only. She is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Queens College-The City University of New York, where she directs the new MFA program. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters, Meridian and Arcadia.
Martha Ellis Crone lives in Upper Arlington, Ohio with her husband and three daughters. She was one of the first two students to earn a B. Phil. from the University of Pittsburgh’s Honors College and she also holds a PhD in Political Science from The Ohio State University. Currently a free-lance writer and editor, she is working on her first novel, Entanglements, about a university student dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found driving a Nissan minivan in circles around her suburban town, picking up and dropping off progeny and listening to audiobooks.
Angelica Duran is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Purdue University. Having been born and schooled in California (B.A. English major/Spanish minor 1987, M.A. English 1988, U.C. Berkeley; English 2000, Stanford), she nevertheless and thoroughly enjoys living in the U.S. Midwest during the school-year with her husband Sean, daughter Jacqueline, and son Paul, and traveling nationally and internationally in the summers, most recently to Argentina, Costa Rica, Spain, Thailand, and, of course, the extended family’s center in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Rosemarie Emanuele has a Ph.D. in economics from Boston College. There, with the assistance of a grant from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, she began a research agenda looking at volunteer labor and the economics of nonprofit organizations. She is currently an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio, where she can be often be heard talking about economics and/or her daughter with much enthusiasm. Her research has appeared in several economics journals, as well as in interdisciplinary journals studying the nonprofit sector.
Elrena Evans holds an MFA from The Pennsylvania State University and has written for numerous mama-centric publications, including Hip Mama, MotherVerse, Mamazine, and Literary Mama. Her work has also appeared in the anthology Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers (Random House). She had no complications with her second pregnancy, and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and son. She still hasn’t decided about finishing the Ph.D.
Della Fenster submitted her dissertation in mathematics to the University of Virginia balancing her 18-month-old daughter Hannah on her hip. Hannah is now 14 and has two younger brothers, Colin and Casey. Della is currently an associate professor of mathematics at the University of Richmond. She enjoys teaching across the mathematics curriculum as well as the University Core course that focuses on great literature. She also recently worked with an undergraduate student to create a travel course to Vienna, Austria. Her research has appeared in notable journals with long names and her personal essays have found an occasional home in Skirt! Magazine. She makes an effort to strike a careful balance between dark chocolate and exercise.
Leslie Leyland Fields is the author of five books, among them Surviving the Island of Grace (Thomas Dunne) and Surprise Child: Finding Hope in Unexpected Pregnancy (Waterbrook). She lives on Kodiak Island, Alaska with her husband and six children, and teaches Creative Nonfiction in Seattle Pacific University’s MFA program. Her next book, forthcoming from Waterbrook, will expose ten parenting myths (out of a field of, say 57), among them, “Loving Your Child is Natural and Instinctive” and “Parenting is Intense for Only a Season.” Her two websites are Leslie Leyland Fields and Surprise Child.
Caroline Grant spent nearly three years writing a dissertation that about seven people read (including her mom). Now she serves as Editor-in-Chief of Literary Mama, where she also writes a monthly movie column for a broad audience (still including her mom). She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley, and she has taught at Stanford University and the San Francisco Art Institute. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons, a life she writes about on her blog, food for thought .
Elisabeth Gruner is Associate Professor of English & Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of Richmond. Her research on children’s literature has appeared in The Lion and the Unicorn and Childrenâ€™s Literature, while her work on Victorian literature has appeared in Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, SIGNS: Journal of Women in Gender & Society, and JEGP. Although her tenure case made The Chronicle of Higher Education, she has managed to combine professing and parenting reasonably successfully, most recently by becoming a columnist and editor at LiteraryMama. Her essay, “Mama Mentor,” appeared in A Cup of Comfort for Teachers, and her non-academic writing has also been published in Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, in Toddler: Real-Life Stories of Those Fickle, Irrational, Urgent, Tiny People We Love, and in Literary Mama.
Jessica Smartt Gullion is a medical sociologist who conducts research on lay perception of medical knowledge. She is currently working in an applied setting outside of the academy, and teaches a class as an adjunct professor. Her writings on motherhood have appeared in the Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering and the Mothers Movement Online. She would like to note that none of the individuals mentioned in her essay currently work at that university.
Lisa Harper is Adjunct Professor of Writing in the MFAW program at the University of San Francisco. She received her B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Princeton University, her M.A. in English/Creative Writing and her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Davis. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in Gastronomica, Literary Mama, Lost Magazine, Princeton Alumni Weekly, Fortnight Magazine, and The Irish News. Her academic writing has appeared in The Emily Dickinson Journal, Literary Couplings: Writing Couples, Collaborators, and the Construction of Authorship, and online in Switchback. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, daughter and son.
After receiving a PhD from the University of Florida and then spending five years at the University of Montana-Western, Aeron Haynie is now happily ensconced (and tenured) at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where she actually gets paid to teach Dickens and develop cool interdisciplinary courses, like “The Culture of Food.” She’s been published in places like the Victorian Institute Journal, Literary Mama, Radical Teacher, and Free Verse.
Sonya Huber is an assistant professor at Georgia Southern University in the Department of Writing & Linguistics, where she teaches creative writing and composition. Her first book, Opa Nobody (University of Nebraska Press, 2008), presents a portrait of her anti-Nazi activist grandfather in fiction and memoir. Her work has appeared in Fourth Genre, Literary Mama, Passages North, The Chronicle of Higher Education and in anthologies from Seal Press, University of Arizona Press, and Prometheus Books. She lives in Statesboro, Georgia, with her son Ivan and husband Donny Humes. She should never have worried about having a quiet and judgmental Gerber baby, because instead she got a skateboarding, air-guitar-playing, story-telling ball of pure independence.
Amy Hudock is a single mom who lives outside of Charleston, SC, where she and her daughter ride horses, swim at the neighborhood pool, and fish at the waterfront park. She holds a Ph. D. in American Literature and Women’s Studies, and now is the Chair of the Humanities Department at a private college preparatory school. She is the Editor-in-Chief of LiteraryMama, co-editor of Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined (Seal 2006), and author of essays that have appeared in Skirt!, ePregnancy, Philosophical Mother, Pregnancy and Baby, Single State of the Union, and Cup of Comfort for Single Mothers. She blogs at Single Mothering: Southern Style.
Megan Pincus Kajitani almost made it to the end of her four-year Javits Fellowship before leaving the Ph.D. path. She came away with an M.A. in Media & Cultural Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a job as a career counselor for graduate students at the University of California-San Diego. Now Megan is a freelance writer/editor . Recent publications include columns in the Chronicle of Higher Education, a chapter in Children & Media at Times of War (Hampton Press, 2007), and an essay in Sunshine/Noir (CityWorks Press, 2006). Motivated by the events described in her Mama, Ph.D. essay, she also writes a blog called Having Enough. She lives with her husband and daughter in Carlsbad, Calif.
Julia Spicher Kasdorf is the author of two collections of poetry, Eve’s Striptease and Sleeping Preacher, both from the Pitt Poetry Series (U. Pittsburgh), a book of essays The Body and The Book (Johns Hopkins), and a biography, Fixing Tradition (Pandora/US). Most recently, with Michael Tyrell she edited Broken Land: Poems Of Brooklyn (NYU). She directs the MFA program at The Pennsylvania State University and lives in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, where she is raising a child with an artist to whom she is no longer married.
Jean Kazez lives in Dallas, Texas, where she divides her time between writing, teaching, and enjoying life with her husband and two children. She received a PhD in philosophy from the University of Arizona in 1990. She has written about ethics and everyday life in her book The Weight of Things: Philosophy and the Good Life (Blackwell, 2007), as well as in essays about altruism, happiness, and the mommy wars in Philosophy Now and The Philosopher’s Magazine. She is currently working on a book about animals and on essays about the ethical dilemmas confronted by parents. You can find out more at kazez.blogspot.com.
Natalie Kertes Weaver is a theologian, poet, painter, daughter, wife, and mother. She chairs the Religious Studies Department at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio and teaches a wide range of courses in theology and religion. She has published academic articles and is currently writing a book on the theology of family and marriage (Saint Mary’s Press). Natalie holds degrees in classical languages, philosophy, and ethics and completed her Ph.D. with a dissertation in feminist theology from Loyola University Chicago. Natalie is married to her college sweetheart with whom she has one son. Natalie hopes to grow her family after she is tenured.
Cynthia Kuhn lives with her husband and two sons in Colorado, where she is associate professor of English at Metro State. Her writing has appeared in publications such as McSweeney’s Quarterly, Literary Mama, and Copper Nickel; she is also the author of Self-Fashioning in Margaret Atwood’s Fiction: Dress, Culture and Identity and co-editor of a collection of critical essays, Styling Texts: Dress and Fashion in Literature (Cambria Press).
Laura Levitt directs the Jewish Studies program at Temple University where she teaches courses in religion and women’s studies. She lives in Philadelphia with her partner David and their two dogs, Moses and Walden. She is the author of Jews and Feminism: The Ambivalent Search for Home and most recently American Jewish Loss after the Holocaust. Her academic writing is eclectic. She often writes in the first person. Laura’s students are in many ways her children. This academic family includes a number of Phds: Tania Oldenhage, Michelle Friedman, Marian Ronan, Deborah Glanzberg-Krainin, Liora Gubkin and Amy Weigand.
Julia Lisella is assistant professor of English at Regis College, teaching courses in American literature and poetry writing. She continues to be fascinated by the connections between the working lives of women writers she studies and teaches and our own lives. She is at work on a book about maternity, modernism and radical women poets of the 1930s. She is the author of two books of poetry, Love Song Hiroshima (Finishing Line Press) and Terrain (WordTech Editions).
Jennifer Margulis is a recovering academic who lives in Ashland, Oregon with her husband and three children: Hesperus (age 8), Athena (7), and Etani (4). A UC Berkeley alumna and recent Fulbright Fellow in West Africa, she has eaten fried crickets in Niger, lectured on slavery in Mauritania, appeared live on prime-time TV in France, and performed the cancan in America. An award-winning professional writer, consultant, and photojournalist, she has published in the New York Times, Ms. Magazine, Wondertime, Parenting, the Christian Science Monitor and dozens of other magazines and newspapers. She has also edited/authored four books, including Toddler: Real-Life Stories of Those Fickle, Irrational, Urgent, Tiny People We Love. Her latest book is The Baby Bonding Book for Dads.
Alissa McElreath lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband, two children, a dog, a cat, and a crazy rabbit. She holds an MA in creative writing from the University of Binghamton and an additional MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Rochester. Her doctoral work is currently on hold as she juggles full-time teaching, writing, and parenting. She hopes to complete her second novel by the end of next spring and, hopefully, will do more with it than leave it to slowly gather dust at the bottom of a drawer.
Josie Mills holds a Ph.D. in English with a specialty in creative writing (poetry) from the University of Denver. Her poetry has appeared in national and international journals including Talking River Review, Bitterroot, Colorado Lawyer, and Mantis, a Journal of Poetry, Criticism, and Translation. She lives in Denver with her husband and two sons and is a member of the English faculty at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado.
Anjalee Deshpande Nadkarni is a playwright/actor/director currently residing in Syracuse, NY. A graduate of the MFA directing program at Northwestern University, she studied under Robert Falls of the Goodman Theatre. Before and after graduate school, she freelanced as an actor /director. Her acting credits include projects filmed in NY, Chicago, London and Mumbai. Of her acting roles, her favorites remain the 1996 film, Once We Were Strangers, which competed at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival; and the 1998 CBN television special The Prodigal Daughter which aired in India on D-TV. Anjalee currently teaches at Le Moyne College and continues to write whenever her 2 year old son allows.
Susan O’Doherty is the author of Getting Unstuck without Coming Unglued: A Woman’s Guide to Unblocking Creativity (Seal Press, 2007). Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Eureka Literary Magazine, Northwest Review, Apalachee Review, Eclectica, and Literary Mama, and the anthologies About What Was Lost: Twenty Writers on Miscarriage, Healing, and Hope (Penguin, 2007), and It’s a Boy! (Seal Press, 2005). New stories will appear in Hospital Drive and in Sex for America, edited by Stephen Elliott. Her story “Passing”was chosen as the New York story for Ballyhoo Stories’ ongoing “Fifty States Project.” It will be distributed in chapbook form at bookstores throughout New York State. Her popular advice column for writers, “The Doctor is In,” appears each Friday on MJ Rose’s publishing blog, Buzz, Balls, & Hype. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and her 13-year-old son, with whom she is unambivalently delighted.
Tedra Osell earned her PhD in English from the University of Washington in 2002, where she wrote her dissertation about 18th-century pseudonymous periodical publication in England. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario for three years before making the difficult decision to give up her position and move home to the west coast. Now she lives in Ventura, CA. She has published essays about 18th-century pseudonymity in Eighteenth-Century Studies and about contemporary pseudonymity in Scholar and Feminist Online and the Minnesota Review. She plans to return to teaching at some point, but for now she is a writing mom. Tedra blogs at the Suicide Girls newswire (http://suicidegirls.com/members/Bitch_PhD/news/), where she comments on feminist and reproductive rights issues, and at her own blog, Bitch, Ph.D., where she comments on anything that crosses her mind.
Miriam Peskowitz holds a PhD in Religion and Women’s Studies and is the author of The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars (Seal Press), Judaism Since Gender (Routledge) and Spinning Fantasies (University of California Press). She is a co-founder of MotherTalk, a business that exists to build community among women, mothers, bloggers and authors. Miriam was an award-winning and tenured professor at the University of Florida, a post she left in 1998 when her first child was born and her workplace had no formal family leave policy for professors. Since then, she has devoted herself to raising awareness of the challenges and discrimination that women and mothers still face in our society. She does this because she truly believes that America can be a place where all of us find justice. Miriam lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two daughters, and blogs at MomsRising, and EverydayMom.
Christy Rowe is a Lecturer in Literature/Humanities at the University of Denver, where her academic interests run from 20th century poetics, to travel writing, to sci/fi and fantasy studies (with an emphasis on the cyberpunk movement). A travel addict, she’s been to 4 continents and 20+ countries. She has published both critical and creative work (mostly poetry) in journals such as McSweeney’s, The Denver Quarterly, Salt Hill, and The Journal of Imagism. Currently she lives in Denver with her husband and two daughters and dreams of her next trip to Thailand.
Judith Sanders, Ph.D., is now working as a freelance writer, editor, and writing coachâ€”and as a mother. She received a BA in literature from Yale, where she was a member of the pioneering first full class of women; an MA from the Boston University Creative Writing Program; a Fulbright Fellowship for a year of study and teaching in France; and a Ph.D. in English from Tufts. She has taught writing and literature at Boston University, MIT, Tufts, and Bowdoin College. She has published articles and poems in such journals as The American Scholar and Poetica. She is currently writing a book of short stories and editing an anthology of mothering poems with Mama, Ph.D. co-contributor Julia Lisella.
After much drama and hand-wringing, Irena Auerbuch Smith completed her dissertation and obtained a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, then went and had three children in quick succession, which pretty much destroyed her chances of ever getting a “real” job. She currently lives in Palo Alto with her incredibly patient husband, teaches literature and composition, works as a college consultant and drives her various children to various after-school activities. Having recently run her one–and only–marathon, she has now set her sights even higher: getting her children to school without sprinting the last 50 yards in an attempt to beat the bell.
Sheila Squillante is a writer of poetry and nonfiction whose work has appeared or will be appearing in such journals as Prairie Schooner, Clackamas Literary Review, The Southeast Review, Phoebe, Quarterly West, and Glamour Magazine, and at such online spaces as Literary Mama, Brevity, Unpleasant Event Schedule and TYPO. She is the Associate Director of the MFA Program at Penn State, where she also teaches in the English department. She lives with her husband and their two-year-old son (whom they did not, much to the chagrin of her good-natured class, name Beowulf) and are expecting a daughter in November of 2007.
Rebecca Steinitz has a PhD in English from U.C. Berkeley. Formerly an Associate Professor in the English Department at Ohio Wesleyan University, she is now a writer, editor, and consultant. She has published scholarly articles on Victorian fiction and life writing in LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory, Studies in the Novel, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies , Victorians Institute Journal, and The Communication Review. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New Republic, The Utne Reader, Salon, Inside Higher Ed, The New York Observer, The Boston Globe, and The Women’s Review of Books, among other places. She lives in Arlington, Masschusetts with her husband and two daughters.
Liz Stockwell grew up in Panama where she spent endless hours exploring the jungle and developing a love for tropical biology. After a PhD (“Wing morphology and flight maneuverability in New World
leaf-nosed bats”) at the University of Washington, she spent 6 years in Halifax, Nova Scotia, re-discovering her Canadian roots and teaching at Dalhousie University. She now lives on Burnaby Mountain near Vancouver, British Colombia, where she spends her days with her two young children teaching them about the joys of playing in the woods, eating wild salmonberries, and searching for banana slugs.
Jean-Anne Sutherland holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Akron where she completed a dissertation entitled “‘What Can I Do Different, What Could Be Better, What, Could You Do More?’: Guilt, Shame and Mothering.” As an assistant professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, she continues her research on mothering, guilt and shame. She is thrilled to be living close to the shore with her daughter, Savannah, and their dachshund Reggie.
Jamie Warner earned her Ph.D. in Political Science in 2001 from Penn State University, and she currently teaches political theory at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. Her research centers on nontraditional forms of political participation and communication, especially those involving political humor and parody, which makes her research a lot of fun. Her work has appeared in Popular Communication and Women & Politics, and she’s currently working on a book length manuscript tentatively entitled Political Culture Jamming: Politics, Parody, and Truth in the American Public Sphere. She lives in the woods with her lovely husband, George, where they are growing their first real garden, trying to make cheese, and still debating whether or not to have children.
Erin Webster Garrett holds a Ph.D. in literary studies from the University of Denver and is currently an Associate Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Radford University. She has written extensively on working mother extraordinaire, Mary Shelley, and credits her successful application for tenure to the recent publication of her first book on the subject, The Literary Career of Mary Shelley After 1822. She credits her continued sanity to the births of her children, Walker Bowman, who agreeably arrived on the last day of Spring classes following her first year as an Assistant Professor, and Katherine Abigail, who arrived 3 weeks before she learned of having been awarded tenure. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband and two children.
Jennifer Eyre White has an M.S. degree in electrical engineering from UCLA. She lives in the San Francisco bay area with her (second) husband, Kennard, and three kids. Her daughter Riley (now 12) swears that she will attend UCLA some day and revisit those hallways and bathrooms that were once her second home. Jennifer still works part-time as an engineering analyst, but somewhere along the line she became a writer, too. She’s published in EE Times, IEEE Spectrum, the International Journal of Vehicle Systems Dynamics, Wondertime, the Cup of Comfort series (Adams Media), and Literary Mama (Seal Press), among other places. She writes about the chaos and alarmingly high decibel level of life with three kids on her website, HavingThreeKids.