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ERIC Number: EJ914908
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2946
A Midcareer Feminist Reflection
Miller, Renata Kobetts
Academe, v97 n1 p27-29 Jan-Feb 2011
It is time for midcareer feminists in the humanities to consider the legacy of their foremothers, as many of their mentors assume emerita status. While feminism has become a multiplicity of often divided feminisms, one constant is a desire to leave the world better than one found it. Service to one's institution, however, can be a professional handicap, because it is undervalued in tenure and promotion decisions while draining time and energy from the more highly valued work of research and publishing. Service can be harder on women, who often already struggle to balance the demands of the tenure clock and the biological clock. Nevertheless, the author believes that steering clear of service is self-disenfranchising and that helping to shape departments, divisions, and colleges is an essential feminist act. At a time when women dominate humanities departments, they should use their status as tenured or tenure-track faculty members to shape their professional world for the better, lest they become beneficiaries and consumers of feminism rather than practitioners of its principles. In this article, the author argues for concrete ways women can improve the state of the academic profession. She views pragmatic attempts to improve their institutions, making them better for students and employees, as a form of feminist activism. Women's majority status in the humanities requires them to redefine what it means to be a feminist in the conduct of their professional lives. Earlier feminists fought to gain entry to the academy. Midcareer feminists have both a right and a responsibility to improve it.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A