Women in the Canadian Academic Tundra

Women in the Canadian Academic Tundra: Challenging the Chill

ELENA HANNAH
LINDA JOAN PAUL
SWANI VETHAMANY-GLOBUS
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 288
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zmbw
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  • Book Info
    Women in the Canadian Academic Tundra
    Book Description:

    Recently we have seen a heightened awareness of the unequal treatment of women in the academic community in general and, in particular, of how part-time, sessional, and contract positions are being used to exploit academics. Women in the Canadian Academic Tundra is a timely call for action. It is a brave testimony to the persistence and resilience of women who, against many odds, continue to contribute to the academy with energy and determination. Their touching stories will appeal to all working women as well as to scholars of social sciences and women studies, equity groups, human rights advocates, and agents of governments.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6971-3
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-v)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vi-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Editors’ Note
    (pp. xiii-2)
    Elena Hannah, Linda Paul Swani and swani vethamany-globus
  5. Challenging the Chill
    (pp. 3-16)

    This book is an anthology of stories of academic women in Canadian universities, told in their own voices. It is a tribute and a testimony to the persistence and resilience of such women who, against many odds, continue to contribute to the academy with energy and determination.

    The tundra is a treeless, barren land, semi-frozen for much of the year, inhospitable to most forms of life. The Canadian Arctic falls into this geographical zone. We, the editors, found a parallel between the struggle it takes to survive in the Canadian tundra and the lives of the academic women who have...

  6. Paying the Inequity Tax
    (pp. 17-21)
    JENNIFER BANKIER

    I am a strong, passionate, compassionate, fair, fifty-year-old, White, straight, middle-class, temporarily able-bodied woman. I entered Osgoode Hall Law School as part of the first big wave of women lawyers in 1971 and I have remained at the leading edge of this wave throughout my academic career as a law professor (Wayne State University: 1979–82; Dalhousie: 1982–present).

    Throughout my professional life I have had to fight battles over competence and credibility. My intellectual credentials are unassailable, so thecompetencechallenges have focused on my personality. They come whenever I attempt something new. First, I was “too emotional” to...

  7. A Nurse Educator’s Experience in Academia
    (pp. 22-25)
    SUZAN BANOUB-BADDOUR

    I joined the School of Nursing at the University of Alexandria after graduating from high school. I had the unique experience of being taught by well-prepared and highly skilled Egyptian as well as Canadian and American nurse educators. Being the recipient of scholarships throughout my program, I was able to travel twice to the south of France where I worked as a summer relief nurse, gaining a different perspective of the health care system. When I graduated with a Bachelor in Nursing Sciencessumma cum laude, I received the highest award of the university for undergraduate students, the golden medal...

  8. Women in Canadian Universities: An Insider’s View from Outside; an Outsider’s View from Inside
    (pp. 26-32)
    HELEN J. BRESLAUER

    Everyone has a unique perspective on their own situation and the situation of others. Some of us have the good fortune to be situated in such a way that we have the opportunity to broaden that perspective. I am one of those fortunate ones. In 1992 the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) presented me with the Sarah Shorten Award “in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the status of women in Canadian universities.” It was a very proud moment for me. I had worked with Sarah Shorten, had admired her, had been delighted that the award...

  9. “Bend and You Will Be Whole”: Women in Canadian University Executive Suites
    (pp. 33-46)
    DIANNE L. COMMON

    I borrowed the title for this essay about women in senior university administration in Canada from the teachings of Lao Tzu, one of the earliest master teachers of Ancient China. Although he was writing about men and for men over 2000 years ago, his ideas have inspired me in my work. Let me introduce one of his poems to you, with the pronouns, of course, carefully changed:

    Bend and you will be whole.

    Curl and you will be straight.

    Keep empty and you will be filled.

    Grow old and you will be renewed.

    Have little and you will gain.

    Have...

  10. Dare to Be Brave: Stand Up for Yourself
    (pp. 47-50)
    LILLIAN EVA DYCK

    I have always loved working in a lab and figuring out the results of experiments but at times the politics of the workplace have troubled me to the point that I almost gave up and decided to quit. It seems as if the more experienced and independent I became, the more excluded and the less accepted I became. While no one in my workplace has been openly racist towards me, sexism abounds. When I became Dr.Dyck, I expected to be valued as an equal by my peers and by decision-makers. I thought that since they were educated they would be...

  11. No Welcome for a Woman: Seeking Colleagues in a Cold Climate
    (pp. 51-55)
    ELLEN E. FACEY

    First, a cautionary tale about collegiality from my first years as a working professional. Then, a discussion of the road to tenure in a socially and intellectually cold climate. I have chosen for the purpose of this paper to focus on the personal aspect of my experience of working as an academic in two Canadian universities. A completely different story might be recounted if I were to concentrate on my research career or on my contractual status in a time of retrenchment.

    I have included a small number of concrete cases or events but omitted names and other means of...

  12. Part-time Language Teachers in the Academic Tundra
    (pp. 56-62)
    WENDY FELDBERG

    Equity is a faint hope for women who, like me, are part-time language teachers at my university. As inhabitants of a ghetto within a ghetto, we endure systemic evils that deny us equality of job opportunity, equal pay for work of equal value, pay parity, fair hiring procedures, and adequate protection for our academic freedoms and intellectual property. We have lost much of the equity we once gained, even as we face new equity issues related to computer-assisted learning, intellectual property, and university revenue-creation schemes. Among the tools of systematic abuse (management structure, hiring policies, for example), discourse is the...

  13. Sickness, Health, and Contract Employment
    (pp. 63-66)
    SHANNON A. GADBOIS

    I moved to my current home in what many would say was a typical move for a professional woman - because my husband had a permanent job here. My husband and I had agreed before we were married that we would move wherever I found full-time employment. Prior to our marriage, he sought employment in my province while I was still a student. He did not find it and neither did I. So, I moved to his home province where he was well-established and in a permanent position. I have never regretted the move and have been grateful for the...

  14. Perspectives from a Woman’s Place
    (pp. 67-71)
    JANE GORDON

    I teach at a university founded to educate women. It prides itself on a continuing commitment to the education of women. For most of the years of its existence, the teaching faculty was almost exclusively women, and women still constitute the majority of its professors. Well over half of the senior administration are women, and there has never been a male president. The majority of students are women. At conferences and other academic venues, I meet women who suggest that I am fortunate to work where I do. The assumption is, generally, that since I work in a setting where...

  15. Everyday Discrimination: We Know How and When, but Never Why
    (pp. 72-84)
    FYRE JEAN GRAVELINE

    This narrative is a collection of experiences throughout my life as a student and faculty member in different institutions across time and space.

    How do I know

    upon what Grounds

    I am Discriminated against?

    I am a Woman,

    a Métis Traditional healer and teacher

    a Single Mother

    I am a Feminist, Anti-racist, Social Activist

    from Subsistence Northern Bush Roots

    I am now Transplanted

    into a Eurocentric, patriarchal, classist,

    industrial, bureaucratic, institutional setting.

    As a Woman I Know

    If a male Sexually Assaults me

    it has to do with My Female-ness.

    As a Métis woman I Know

    he may hold Stereotypic...

  16. Transforming at the Margins of the Academy
    (pp. 85-91)
    JOYCE GREEN

    The often-conflicted academic experience of Aboriginal women has been my reality as well as my intellectual interest.² My heritage includes both settler and Aboriginal peoples, and so my personal, social, familial, and political context includes all of the tensions that I will address here. This context is both a social location and an experience of an unequal dialectic of conflict, configured by dual racisms, colonialism, sexism, and marginalization. For me and my familial cohort, our history, psyche, and analysis are indelibly marked by this dialectic. We share a condition common to many nonculturally located Métis, and not coincidentally, to women...

  17. The Wandering Wombs: Women Faculty Empower Themselves through Friendship
    (pp. 92-97)
    MARY RUCKLOS HAMPTON and PEGGY WILSON

    We met while teaching at the University of Alaska in the chilliest of climates - inside and outside the university. Now we are both teaching in Canadian universities. But what we learned for the first time in Alaska has come with us and allowed us to survive and thrive in academia today. We learned the power of women’s friendships.

    Although the University of Alaska is an American University, it is geographically and culturally close to its Canadian neighbours. The extreme environment of the far north, and its racial mix of Native, Caucasian and other ethnic backgrounds, makes for a unique...

  18. Doing the Tango in the Canadian Academic Tundra: Keep Those Feet Moving Fast
    (pp. 98-103)
    ELENA R. HANNAH

    In my twenty-eight years as a faculty member in the Psychology Department of Memorial University, I have held a full-time, tenure-track position (eight years), a part-time, per course position (eight years), a full-time, non-tenure-track, contractual position (ten years), and a full-time, sessional position (two years). Apart from a few months’ maternity and sick leave, and a year when I followed my then husband for his sabbatical in another province (where I also taught two full terms), I have always taught here. However, despite my twenty-eight years as an academic member of this university, I have no job security, a below...

  19. When Life Gets in the Way of Life: Work/Family Conflicts among Academic Women and Men
    (pp. 104-111)
    LESLEY D. HARMAN and PETRA REMY

    “An academic career interferes in life” (female, 49 , divorced, adult children).

    As I sit watching the cursor blink on my monitor, the clock reads 3:15 a.m. The house is quiet, the housework is done, and in my head I hear the echoes of my children saying “I love you, Mummy” as they drift off to sleep. At the end of the day I am grateful for the gifts of my children and my career, for the opportunity to be both a mother and a full-time scholar.

    I wonder what has happened to the past week. I am a lone...

  20. On Being a Lady Professor
    (pp. 112-115)
    ALISON HAYFORD

    I was born into an academic family, and while I made some feeble efforts to get into another sort of career, it was probably inevitable that I ended up in teaching. While plenty of my female forebears had fairly standard female roles, there were many notable exceptions. At least four of my maternal grandfather’s seven sisters had college degrees, in an era when even most males didn’t complete high school, and one of these sisters was a math professor at a college in Tennessee. My father’s mother and her mother before her went to normal school and became teachers, and...

  21. A Wedding and Two Funerals
    (pp. 116-118)
    DIANE HUBERMAN-ARNOLD

    I have taught, part time, in philosophy at the University of Ottawa since the mid-1970s. I have five degrees, and superb teaching evaluations. My service record is excellent, and my research is better than average in the department, and improving all the time. None of this matters. Because I am married to a full-time professor in the Department of Philosophy, I have been told over the years that I really do not need to work, since I have a husband to support me, and that when my children were young, I belonged at home with them.

    I believe that learning...

  22. Managing Men-in-Skirts
    (pp. 119-123)
    MARTHA KENISTON LAURENCE

    Why are some of my female colleagues better men than the men?Why do some of my female colleagues beat the meritocracy drum a little (and sometimes a lot) more loudly than their academic brothers?

    I watch some of my female colleagues sinking other women at Senate Tenure and Promotion Committee, for example. I watch them bask in rays of approval from their male colleagues, most of whom have had to say little, while the woman champions the tenets of meritorious scholarship defined in traditional, scientific, objectified terms and heaps criticism on both substantive and methodological features of feminist scholarship,...

  23. Disadvantaged? Not I!
    (pp. 124-128)
    ANNE M. LAVACK

    I am always puzzled when I come across descriptions of women in academia as being “disadvantaged.” For me, there have been nothing but positive experiences in my academic career. In fact, I feel that women in academia enjoy some tremendous advantages over their male colleagues.

    Perhaps my positive experiences have something to do with the fact that I am relatively new to academia. Conditions in academia may have improved in recent years, so that women have become accepted as equals. However, I also worked for ten years as an executive in advertising and market research firms prior to my PhD...

  24. Teaching Doesn’t Count
    (pp. 129-132)
    BLUMA LITNER

    As I write this reflection on my experience, I have just submitted the required annual written report entitled “Evidence of productivity in research and scholarship” to the dean of my faculty, which will be used to determine my teaching load for the following year. This exercise always leaves me with a sense of malaise, bringing to the forefront, as it does, the contradictions I experience in my academic life at the university. In the past few years, I have managed to refrain from voicing the turbulence I feel each time I go through the productivity exercise, which is like the...

  25. Downsize This … and This and This: Women and Academic Hiring
    (pp. 133-138)
    JEANETTE LYNES

    In her 1994 survival guide for academic women, Paula Caplan made the dismal observation that “women are less likely than men to be hired by academic institutions” and that “in Canada and the United States, 27% of all faculty positions are held by women” (Caplan, 1994). To this, Caplan adds the even more depressing fact that “in both countries far smaller and sometimes negligible percentages are held by women from non-dominant groups [such as] Black, Hispanic, and aboriginal women” (Caplan, 1994). More recent statistical work by Janice Drakich and Penny Stewart shows that in Canada, some slow gains have been...

  26. Don’t Let Them Know You Care
    (pp. 139-142)
    HARRIET D. LYONS

    My mother took early retirement at fifty-five, the age I am now. She was a mid-level civil servant who thought she deserved better. Never having heard of systemic discrimination, she believed (a) that most of the people in her office were personal enemies, and (b) that if only she had been satisfied with being a wife and mother, she wouldn’t have laid herself open to such suffering. My mother wanted me to do better than she had but thought that “doing better” meant being more satisfied with the conditions of a woman’s life, not changing them.

    At fifty-five, I am...

  27. An Alternative Vision: Creating a Life Vitae
    (pp. 143-146)
    GERALDINE (JODY) MACDONALD

    My struggle began with my entry into academic life with the hope that in an academic career I would be able to balance my work and family life. Along the way I found myself resisting the university’s predominant valuation of the curriculum vitae. I began constructing an alternative structure for personal validation, the creation of what I call a “life vitae.” I share my story in the hope that it will give other academic mothers (and fathers) the courage to create their own life vitae. This is the perfect moment in time, the university is the ideal space, and together...

  28. A Different Balance
    (pp. 147-150)
    JENNIFER MATHER

    Unlike many women who work within the professoriate, I “have it made.” I have a full-time tenured position within a well-established university and will not likely be out of a job unless the system collapses. I have a chance to do the whole range of activities that the professorial system allows, and that range of activities is immense. Formally, professors are requested to spend their work time on Teaching, Research, and Service. There is a lot of leeway for individual preferences, and my colleagues and I vary widely in how we interpret that set of assignments.

    Theoretically, recognition of our...

  29. Why I Didn’t Have Time to Write This Article
    (pp. 151-157)
    DENISE S. McCONNEY

    Carter Revard “is working on a new and selected gathering of poems,Unzipping Angels‚ while tracking down a fourteenth-century scribe and his patrons, and may considerably improve the world if given half a chance and fewer distractions” (sage, poet, literature professor, scholar and dancer).

    I think Carter Revard wrote at least this last sentence of his biographical sketch himself. I find both encouragement and despair in these brief words. The portion about being “given half a chance and fewer distractions” certainly rings true for me. I wish I had time to write and get my words published. But I don’t....

  30. An Academic Life as I Have Experienced It
    (pp. 158-161)
    SUSAN McCORQUODALE

    Some would describe me as a member of a double minority. Before I retired I worked in the virtually all-male world of political science and am a disabled female in a university setting. The polio I had as a twelve-year-old left me with a virtually useless left leg. All my life I have used crutches to go “long distances” as I defined them. However until I developed rheumatoid arthritis nine years ago, I could walk around a classroom unaided, even if I did limp a bit. I should add that I took early retirement in 1996 , but I am...

  31. Equity Coordinator: Change Agent in an Unyielding Power Structure
    (pp. 162-167)
    SHAHRZAD MOJAB

    In 1990 I was hired as a full-time employment equity coordinator to initiate the employment equity program at a medium-sized university in Ontario. Introducing equity into any inequitable institution is a formidable task. This is also true in the case of universities, despite the fact that they boast long histories as major centres of enlightenment. Since universities are formed out of autonomous units such as departments and faculties with external professional and disciplinary links, they are often viewed as organizations with decentralized structures. And this type of organization, with an elaborate distribution of power, is expected to be more hospitable...

  32. On Being Homeless: Aboriginal Experiences of Academic Spaces
    (pp. 168-173)
    PATRICIA D. MONTURE-ANGUS

    I use the notion of “homelessness” with hesitation. I acknowledge that I exercise much privilege in my life (income, education, profession, and so on). I have a physical home. My quest, since I started teaching nine years ago² at Dalhousie Law School, is for an intellectual home. After my first two years of teaching on term contract, I secured a tenure-track position at the law school at the University of Ottawa. Restlessness, a feeling I now understand as “homelessness,” set in before that first move from Halifax to Ottawa. This comment is both my story of the last decade of...

  33. Biologist from Birth: Mother by Instinct
    (pp. 174-177)
    ANNE MORGAN

    I grew up in Kent, the county known in Britain as the “Garden of England.” I have always loved “nature” and some of my fondest childhood memories are associated with the world of wildlife. It is hard to know where the strongest influences came from – perhaps helping my parents in our large garden, perhaps from time spent on family farms, or perhaps from excellent teachers who encouraged an appreciation of the outdoors. One of my favourite activities in elementary school was “First Finds,” a competition to be the first person in the class to bring in a particular flower that...

  34. Women on Campus: Mosaic Myth or Melting Pot Reality?
    (pp. 178-182)
    MAXINE C. MOTT

    In recent years increased attention has been given to the issues and concerns of women faculty and students in Canadian universities.¹ Similar attention has not been given to women in leadership positions in these same institutions. There is a small but growing body of literature that relates to women in educational administration at the primary and secondary school levels (Reynolds 1994). However, most of the published literature that examines gender issues related to higher education leadership is from the United States. There are several possible explanations for the lack of Canadian scholarship on women in higher education administration. One reason...

  35. What’s a Girl like You Doing in a Nice Place like This? Mothering in the Academy
    (pp. 183-188)
    ANDREA O’REILLY

    My history as an academic began close to seventeen years ago when I, at the tender age of nineteen, left home to attend university in the big and bad Toronto. My career plans were anything but concrete, though I envisioned myself in a smart and sexy career like law. Given that I had done well in law and economics in high school, such a future seemed possible. However, I made the fatal mistake of enrolling in a course on women and literature; since then, women’s writing has been the undying passion of my life. There went the high-powered, and, I...

  36. McTeaching
    (pp. 189-192)
    MARIANNE D. PARSONS

    Between 1993 and 1997 I moved six times. Four of these moves were for teaching jobs; all of them were motivated by economic necessity. In 1996 (for the first time in nine years) I could no longer afford to live independently and had to share accommodations with my younger sister who is a single parent and full-time student. From September 1997 to August 1998 I taught seven courses, at three universities, for the handsome sum of $27,100.¹ My work experience of teaching university students part time for the past sixteen years² has a historical and social context that is shared...

  37. Some Stones and Some Mountains
    (pp. 193-198)
    LINDA JOAN PAUL

    I was auditing a women’s studies course. The subject was global abuse of women, and we watched a documentary¹ of the June 1993 United Nations World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna. One hundred and seventy governments met and deliberated. It was the largest human rights gathering ever. While the heads of states and officials met in one area, women held a smaller tribunal of their own – to “tear down the walls of silence” that surrounded the abuse and debasement of women.

    One stark scene showed drawings of three sizes of rocks which might be used in one country...

  38. Princesses and Physicists: How Women in the Lab Shattered My Stereotypes
    (pp. 199-202)
    AMY ROWAT

    “What’s a young lady like you going to do with a big book like this?” This is my favourite reaction to my identity as a female physics student, uttered by the cashier at the university bookstore as I was purchasing my copy ofQuantum Waves.

    I am rather humoured by the sheer outrageousness of this comment and others like it. But I have been fortunate not to have had to deal with any sort of outright discouragement during my three years as an undergraduate physics student at Mount Allison University. In fact, I have found much support and encouragement to...

  39. Different Parts of the Margin
    (pp. 203-208)
    JOAN SCOTT

    Two disclaimers. After years spent on different parts of the margin of academic science, I don’t claim the identity of academic woman. Also readers might expect to find a male-type career structure – a set of stages, with increasing access to institutional resources. There are only fragments of such structures in my story.

    As is the case for many women in science of my age and older in Canada, I grew up and was educated elsewhere – in my case the United Kingdom. In the circles our family moved in, women stayed home if they had children, or, if without children, they...

  40. The New Roads Scholar or the Effect Of Hypergyny on Universities
    (pp. 209-213)
    STEVI (M.E.) STEPHENS

    The term “roads scholar” is not my own. Dr. Rick Garvin, an archaeologist and colleague, used it in conversation. At that time he was teaching courses in two universities and one college in southern Alberta. When I attended the CAUT Status of Women Conference in 1996 , I was reminded of the term when I met women who were simultaneously teaching at several different colleges and universities.

    Ironically, teaching five courses at three different colleges pays less and offers fewer benefits than teaching a three/two split as a term instructor at a single university. For example, contracts for single courses...

  41. Left Out in the Cold … Who? Me?
    (pp. 214-217)
    CAROL STOS

    When I first saw the call for contributions to this book on Canadian women in academia, my immediate gut reaction was one of personal denial. “That does not include me,” I thought. “I have my PhD, I am doing what I love, teaching full time at university, and I have a tenure-track position.” But I could not stop thinking about the topic, and I soon found myself jotting down notes for this article.

    In many ways, I think, my experiences are those of other married women of my generation. When I was doctoral candidate, having just completed the written and...

  42. A Few Things Learned
    (pp. 218-221)
    MARILYN TAYLOR

    For twelve years (1986-98), I was actively involved in improving life and opportunities for women within my own university, through the Fédération des Professeurs des Universités du Quebéc, and through the Canadian Association of University Teachers.¹ At the university level, during the first third of this period, I participated, with others, in establishing university infrastructures and developing policy to foster change for women. During the last third of the period, most of this work has been dismantled. On one hand, this is a debilitating loss. On the other hand, it is provocation to reflect, to learn from our experiences and...

  43. Pioneering at the End of the Twentieth Century
    (pp. 222-225)
    DOROTHY R. TOVELL

    My grandparents were pioneers, leaving their established communities in Ontario, England, and the United States and coming to Alberta to build new lives and participate in building new communities. We no longer speak of Alberta in 1900 as unoccupied, having belatedly acknowledged the Aboriginal people who had lived here for centuries, but we know that the people like my grandparents, of European descent, did bring with them different cultures and ways of living in what was to them new territory. In this way, women may bring to our universities (relatively new territory for us in large numbers) aspects of women’s...

  44. Happy People Have No Story?
    (pp. 226-229)
    CÉCYLE TRÉPANIER

    “Happy people have no story.” According to this adage, perhaps I have nothing to say. But I know there are reasons for the satisfaction I get from my work. My happiness comes from who I am and how I live. I attribute it to luck, to the quality of certain people I have met along the way, to my modest ambitions, and to my freedom – although it has a price.

    I chose a male discipline without knowing it. As I was somewhat timid by nature, my parents always gave me the impression that the world was mine. For them the...

  45. And the Wisdom to Know the Difference
    (pp. 230-234)
    SUSAN M. TURNER

    I begin this account of my experiences as a sessional in the Canadian philosophy market at a point when I have begun to consider employment outside the academy. Whether things will go better out there than they have in here is hard to say. One thing seems certain to me, however. They cannot possibly go worse. Perhaps this is naïve of me. But I don’t think so.

    For one thing, I would no longer have to do personal combat with so many post-pubescent “alpha” male students. This has been the most startling, treacherous, and soul destroying part of teaching. As...

  46. If You Are Dumped On, It Is Not All Bad
    (pp. 235-240)
    SWANI VETHAMANY-GLOBUS

    It happened on a frigidly cold night; a tiny bird froze and fell to the ground. A cow passed by and dumped dung on the fallen bird. The warmth of the fresh dung revived the bird and it chirped. A fox came along, heard the chirping bird, and ate it. Thus, the moral of the story is: “If you are dumped on, it is not all bad, and when the going is good, you should keep your mouth shut.” This parable (supposedly of Russian origin) was narrated to me by a senior administrator in the Faculty of Science at a...

  47. Science and Business: Two Working Lives Compared
    (pp. 241-247)
    IRENE WANKE and PETER BOWAL

    This phrase was coined by Orwell to relate his story of pigs that controlled the government. Their proclaimed equality for all was in fact only equality for the pigs. It did not yield true equality across society. This phrase has since been popularly adapted, and well understood. In the same way, former US President Gerald Ford’s slip of the tongue that “things are more like they are now than they’ve ever been” resonates with meaning. Some departments may have come very far toward fostering equality of treatment, but other departments in the same institution may do little to ensure actual...

  48. Largesse: Gains and Losses in the Classroom
    (pp. 248-251)
    DEBORAH WILLS

    The image on the classroom wall looks like the drawings of naked ladies I used to find in the margins of grade-school readers and library books; it evokes that same instantaneous crash of shock and repudiation. Like those marginal drawings, it is repellent as much for the evident hatred it betrays as for its familiar elements of design: the swollen breasts, bulbous spread thighs, the body hair scribbled in with such ferocity it’s hard not to imagine the paper tearing beneath the pen. It used to come like a blow to the stomach every time, like a dirty joke with...

  49. “To Everything There Is a Season”
    (pp. 252-256)
    SUSAN WILSON

    Autumn, Keats’s “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”; it’s a clear, crisp afternoon in early November, an afternoon that presents me with a variety of options as to how I’ll pass the time. Shall I mark another ten or fifteen of the ninety-odd essays stacked on the floor next to the bookcase in my kitchen? Shall I reread, for the umpteenth time, the next few chapters I’m to teach from Michael Ondaatje’s sumptuous novelThe English Patient? Shall I leave all pedagogical pursuits aside on this, my last weekend of comparative freedom before the onslaught of the end-of-term workload, and...

  50. Postgraduate Journal: Blood, Sweat, and Tears
    (pp. 257-260)
    N. ROCHELLE YAMAGISHI

    My story is fraught with tension. I feel as if I am walking a tightrope between academe and home, between fulfilling my dreams and meeting the needs of my family. It seems that I have to choose between my children (produced from my body) and my studies (produced from my mind) to achieve a spiritual end. That they are also body, mind, and spirit is the saving grace.

    My agenda is to complete an advanced degree while at the same time maintaining my role in a traditional family. (I have been warned by more than one academic that separating from...

  51. Postscript
    (pp. 261-261)

    The personal narratives in this anthology dramatically illustrate the barriers that, still today, stand in the way of many academic women’s success. Overcoming the pressures for discretion, the writers have recounted their experiences as they rose to the challenges of the chilly university climate, with its endemic prejudice, androcentricity, and patriarchal structures. We thank them. Their voices provide a powerful collective testimony to the strength and courage of women in the Canadian Academic Tundra.

    Although considerable research and soul-searching have taken place in recent years, much more remains to be done both at the academic investigational level and in the...

  52. Contributors
    (pp. 262-268)
  53. References
    (pp. 269-274)