Women in the Academy

By February 22, 2010

The Juvenile Instructor introduces a new series consisting of interviews with various up-and-coming female Mormon scholars. These women will answer a series of questions about their educational paths and their research interests, as well as reflect on how gender and femaleness affect their studies and their involvement in the academy.

Look for the upcoming interview with Rachel Cope, who holds a PhD in American history from Syracuse University and currently works at BYU Studies.


  1. I’m excited about this series. Thanks for initiating it, Liz.

    Comment by Christopher — February 22, 2010 @ 8:58 pm

  2. Nice to see this! (I’m STILL mad about the classic T&S trainwreck thread, “To the ABD Fathers in Zion” :-))

    Comment by sister blah 2 — February 22, 2010 @ 9:34 pm

  3. Will this include scholars outside of history?

    If so, I have a few ideas.

    Comment by Chris Henrichsen — February 22, 2010 @ 10:25 pm

  4. I’m planning to include women from a variety of disciplines. Who do you have in mind, Chris H.?

    Comment by Elizabeth — February 22, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

  5. Awesome, simply awesome.

    Comment by Joel — February 22, 2010 @ 10:39 pm

  6. Looking forward to it, Liz.

    Comment by Ryan T — February 22, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

  7. Excellent.

    Comment by Ben — February 23, 2010 @ 4:20 am

  8. Very cool.

    Comment by Edje Jeter — February 23, 2010 @ 6:07 am

  9. Sister Blah 2, I think “To the ABD fathers…” is one of the better posts I’ve written. But a thread is more than just the original post, of course. What part of it made you mad? (For the morbidly inclined, the link is here.)

    I too am looking forward to the series here at JI.

    Comment by Jonathan Green — February 23, 2010 @ 9:59 am

  10. This is excellent, thank you, Liz!

    Comment by Jared T — February 23, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

  11. Sometime you should interview some of the young female faculty in the Marriott School.

    Comment by TT — February 23, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

  12. Laura Bridgewater, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Biology at BYU, has a pretty amazing story. She is very inspiring for women in and out of the sciences.

    Comment by kew — February 23, 2010 @ 8:07 pm

  13. Thanks, TT and kew, for your suggestions! I will investigate.

    Comment by Elizabeth — February 23, 2010 @ 9:32 pm

  14. Jonathan–

    Huh, rereading it years later I little of what I remember bugging me. I had concerns along the lines of z’s, though she seems to have presented them less than artfully. Now in retrospect it is clear that you were just addressing a particular group’s concerns. But maybe to help you understand why it might have set off z, here’s where I was coming from in sharing her concerns: At the time, I was ABD and in the middle of some serious struggles with gender expectations, few women in my program, even fewer female mentors, lack of LDS community support or even active disdain from ward members, and a spouse who viewed my work as a passtime while we waited for kids not a career (some women do scrapbooking, I write scientific papers for top conferences) and wouldn’t ever consider moving for a job for me. While people at school were talking about placing me in tenure-track positions at major schools, my husband was expressing hopes that after I graduated I’d stay home for a while since he was getting tired of pitching in on housework so much (to be fair, being the spouse of an ABD is rough, as your wife knows). Anyway, to the extent that I (wrongly) interpreted your piece as reinforcing that the only LDS grad students are fathers with SAHM wives must have been the last straw during an especially bad week.

    FWIW, my husband and I have reconciled on these issues, but it was a struggle since we were both tangling with expectations inherited from our own mothers, from LDS culture, etc. It is hard–for everybody–when your situation is outside the mainstream.

    Comment by sister blah 2 — February 23, 2010 @ 11:49 pm

  15. er, make that “…years later I SEE little of what…”

    Comment by sister blah 2 — February 23, 2010 @ 11:51 pm

  16. OK, thanks, I think I understand. Looking back over my post now, I can see where I could have been clearer about the audience, and should also have acknowledged the very real problems women run into in grad school and in academic careers. My wife experienced some of the frustrations you mention while earning her MA, in a ward where there were very few other grad student mothers and people sometimes didn’t know quite what to make of her. One more reason I’m looking forward to the series here.

    Comment by Jonathan Green — February 24, 2010 @ 12:34 am

  17. Jonathan, let’s just hope that one of the pieces in this series mentions going on WIC in grad school so we can watch people go deathmatch on that topic again, for old time’s sake!

    Comment by sister blah 2 — February 24, 2010 @ 1:06 am

  18. Ah WIC. I never knew there could be so many ways to choose the wrong cheese.

    RE the deathmatch: did anyone catch the Daily Show’s bit on Monday about Glen Beck using the public library where books are free? Classic.

    If only we could go back to the bad-old-days when the poor were illiterate, the elderly were impoverished and sick, and women couldn’t vote.

    Comment by Owen — February 24, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

  19. […] have grappled with secularism and their individual educational pursuits in Religious StudiesĀ and Women in the Academy, profiling several up-and-coming female Latter-day Saint scholars. Perhaps more than all of that, […]

    Pingback by Juvenile Instructor » Farewell, Elizabeth — February 9, 2011 @ 10:06 am


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