Call for papers for an edited essay collection: Professing Parenthood

How do the experiences of pregnancy, surrogacy, adoption, and/or raising young children enliven our work as academics? And how, in turn, does academic expertise help to shape our care for our children?  Whether or not it is possible to become a career star while actively caring for a family has become an obsession of the middle- and upper-middle classes, as evidenced by the streams of reactions to Anne-Marie Slaughter’s 2012 Atlantic article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” Professing Parenthood sets aside the now familiar question of how to balance work with family life, which presumes that these arenas are necessarily in competition with one another. Instead, the essays in this multidisciplinary special edition aim to shed light on some of the myriad, often surprising, ways that, for many university instructors, professors, and administrators, work and family life intersect and inform one another.

We are soliciting contributions from adjunct, limited-term, tenure-track and tenured professors and administrators at North American universities and colleges who are also parents or primary caregivers, and who wish to explore the cross-fertilization of these two roles. The perspectives of those who are new to one or both of these roles are particularly welcomed. How has your relationship to disciplinary knowledge been transformed by your experiences in reproducing, adopting, and/or caring for a child? If your research concerns the science, culture, literature, philosophy, sociology, or psychology of reproduction or family life, how has this intellectual understanding helped (or perhaps hindered) your development as a parent or primary caregiver? Have your research directions, modes of analysis, forms or media of publication, teaching areas, or pedagogical approaches significantly changed as a result of the time you’ve spent with a child? If so, how so? Or perhaps childcare has had its most powerful impact on the quality or direction of your service to the college or university or to the community surrounding it. We are interested in those stories too.

Completed essays will be about 3,000-5,000 words and describe and analyze in some detail the most important way that your research, teaching, or service to the university has been transformed by the experience of childcare. We are looking for essays by area specialists who are able to engage intelligently and precisely with the theoretical and methodological particularities of their disciplines in lively, jargon-free writing that can be enjoyed by academics from other disciplines as well.

Please send 250-500-word proposals and a one page CV, to Jessica Riddell,, by October 1, 2016.


Dr. Rachel Berger, Associate Professor, Department of History, Concordia University

Dr. Danielle Bobker, Associate Professor, Department of English, Concordia University

Dr. Jessica Riddell, Associate Professor, Department of English, Bishop’s University