I confess, I freaked out a bit when I first heard about this book. My Mama, Ph.D. co-editor, Elrena Evans, and I had done a fair amount of research already into the literature of parenting in the academy and hadn’t come across this title. Then I looked at the table of contents and found its section titles suspiciously close to the titles we’d devised (P&P; got them first, so we’ll have to change).
But now that I’ve read the essays in this book, I’m happy to report that there’s room in the world for the two collections. The essays in P&P; are thoughtful and well-researched, sometimes quite moving, often positively jaw-dropping. Fathers and mothers are both represented here, single parents, adoptive parents and grandparents; students, adjunct faculty, tenured faculty and administrators. But this is definitely an academic book, by which I mean a book written by academics for other academics. (My writing group continually reminds me not to take my academic language for granted; “What do you mean by the academy, anyway?” they ask.)
While Parenting and Professing‘s introduction very convincingly situates the problem of combining work and family in the broader context of the American workplace (as Mama, Ph.D. will), none of the essays take up that issue, or, I think, appeal to a reader who is not grappling with the problem of combining academic work with a family. I hope Mama, Ph.D. will. Stay tuned.