Vacation snaps, part deux

Hi there!  This morning, I have some more photos for your delectation.  (Hey–at least I’m not subjecting you to a slide show in my basement, fergawdssakes!)  Now, this little beauty can be yours for just 230 Euros.  I thought about buying it for GayProf, but then I thought it would mean so much more if I just took a picture and showed it to all of you.  (Thanks for sharing, GayProf!)

It seems like Wonder Woman’s costume gets skimpier and skimpier as the years go by–which is just about the opposite of most Earth women’s wardrobes. Continue reading

Invasion of the pod people

If you just can’t get enough Historiann, or you’ll click on anything having to do with women’s and gender history, borderlands history, Native American history, or colonial North American history, or you’re just reallyreally bored, you can check out “Inroads:  Episode #2,” the podcast that graduate student Justin Carroll made of my talk at the CIC-American Indian Studies Consortium at Michigan State University earlier this month.  (At least you can find out what I sound like, if not what I look like!)  Those of you who are technologically adept can probably figure out how to put it on your i-Pods so that you can take me with you on your jog or trip to the gym.  (And who wouldn’t love working out to a discussion of religious education, self-mortification, and artistic expression among women in Wabanakia and Quebec in the eighteenth century?  Talk about “Sweatin’ to the Oldies!”)

The AISC has other podcasts that might be of interest to many of you:  Carroll also has posted a podcast of “From Ph.D. to Professor,” in which three MSU faculty members (Heather Howard, Susan Applegate Krouse, and Kimberli Lee) plus Susan Lobo of the University of Arizona discuss their professional development and the process of publishing their books.  Continue reading

Leave? Or, the once-and-future state of maternity leave in academia

Today’s post is a guest post by Anonymous, an Assistant Professor in a Humanities department at a large, public university and (for now) the mother of one child.  Here, she tells us the story of her request for a maternity leave for the birth of her second child.  Now nearly 8 months pregnant, she still isn’t sure what her university plans to do for her, or what price she might pay for having asked for accommodation:

When I had my first child, I was working at a university with no paid family or maternity leave.  The university stipulated that we must use accrued sick leave as salary during that period, but it turned out I had only accrued enough for three paid weeks.  On the other hand, my chair dealt with my request for leave promptly and professionally, and there appeared to be no negative consequences in the department or university for being a woman and daring to have a child (untenured no less).  But it was a rather young department and many faculty members had young children, so there was an established more-or-less child-friendly culture there.

Now that I am about to have another child, I am at a different institution (though both of my employers were large public universities).  As in my previous experience, I went to my chair at the earliest possible moment to “request” leave.  I had been told that the university had paid maternity leave, but didn’t know how it worked.   The chair listened to my request and then said that he would mention it to the dean during their next meeting.  Shortly thereafter the chair came back to me and said: “There’s a problem!”  Two problems, actually.  The first “problem” was that my child is due in the late spring or early summer, so there was a question about whether or not I qualified for leave in the fall, since (apparently!) I “should” just be taking it in the summer.  The second problem was that I had planned to be away in the fall (to be with my partner, who lives and works in another state), but the “leave” provided by the college requires service work.  So rather than providing actual “leave” the college gives course-releases, which is actually rather different from paid leave. Continue reading

Holiday snaps, part I

Over the next few days, I’ll be posting some of the most interesting things I saw on my spring vacation (at last)!  Here are two:

For those of you who read this language, I can only ask, “well, is it, punk?  (For those of you who don’t, I can translate loosely:  Is our work valued the same?, and underneath is says To eliminate the wage gap between women and men, and directs readers to this website.)  Apparently in this country, they haven’t yet closed the wage gap between men and women, and the government presumes that the citizenry would like to do something about it!  Sacre bleu!  Continue reading

The Donald: still unaccredited

Via Inside Higher Ed, we learn that “Trump University,” the “Donald Trump creation that offers courses for those who want to emulate the real estate guru, has been ordered by New York State officials to stop calling itself a university.”  (Full story here:  “‘Use of the word ‘university’ by your corporation is misleading and violates New York Education Law and the Rules of the Board of Regents,’ wrote Deputy Commissioner for Higher Education Joseph Frey.”)

Well, you can see why he thought it was OK to call his program a “university.”  After all, he probably calls that stuff on his head “hair.”

Late April watching and waiting

Stanley Fish reminds us that today is the fifteenth annivarsary of the Oklahoma City bombings, and that April 19 is significant to domestic terrorists for many reasons, but most of all because it was also the day of the invasion and burning of the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas in 1993:

For those who fear government and hold fiercely to the motto of New Hampshire — “Live Free or Die” — April 19 is both a holy and an unholy day; unholy because it marks the naked exercise of state power (at least in the case of Waco and before that of Ruby Ridge), and holy because it serves as a rallying cry for those who wish to “take back” their country from the socialists, communists and one-worlders who, they believe, have hijacked it. Blogger Eric Boehlert declares on that “April 19th remains an almost mythical date among dedicated government haters.”

For the government, April 19 is a day to worry about. When F.B.I. agents arrested nine members of the Christian militia known as the Hutaree in late March, they acted because of information indicating that the group was planning an attack on police officers sometime in April. The betting is that the date they had in mind was April 19. Continue reading

The blame game

Susan Scarf Merrell offers some interesting insights into the case of the little boy returned to Russia last week when his American mother decided that she couldn’t parent him any longer.  Merrell is the author of a book about a troubled adoption:

When I set out to write my 2001 novel, A Member of the Family, I wanted to find an answer to one simple question: What kind of mother could give back a child she had sworn to love? In researching the novel, I met many families struggling to do better than survive, families that wanted to compensate for the early life tragedies that had beset the children they now called their own. Whether the child’s scars were psychological or physical, a question of malnutrition or attachment disorder or serious mental illness, these families were committed, no matter the cost of endurance to their other members.Through these conversations, I did eventually construct a portrait of a fictional family that adopted a child, did their best to raise him, but ultimately sank under the pressure and released him into the foster care system. I let my characters live out their tale. Like any novelist, I had done my homework and built my fictional case.

Because I was publishing a piece of fiction, I was unprepared for what followed. After the book was released, I was shocked to open my local paper to find a letter from a neighbor, an adoptive parent, stating that she would never read a book like mine and hoped nobody else would either. I was accused of a variety of odd things in the months following publication, of constructing a damning portrait of a fellow villager—someone I had never heard of, or met—and of fictionalizing and justifying my own behavior with my own children. Continue reading