Penn State

Heidi Abbey - Archivist and Humanities Reference Librarian, and Coordinator of Archives and Special Collections, Penn State Harrisburg

Book Title: Academic Motherhood in a Post-Second Wave Context: Challenges, Strategies, and Possibilities

Author: Eds. D. Lynn O'Brien Hallstein and Andrea O'Reilly

Book Description:

In selecting a book for this program, I spent a great deal of time reviewing the possible titles in my personal library that focus on archives and special collections, museum studies, environmental sustainability, art history, and motherhood and women’s studies topics. There are numerous books and articles in these areas that have been pivotal to my scholarly research over the years. How to pick just one? I kept coming back to books about women’s health, fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, and balancing the often competing roles of scholar, wife, and mother. I would not have survived and thrived on the tenure track without being fulfilled in all of these varied roles. My family---especially my parents, my son, Liam, my fiancé, Brad, and future stepsons, Bruce and Adam---who made many sacrifices over the years, helped nurture my creativity and well being in countless ways. They were my inspiration and my strength.

I was also highly influenced early in my academic career at Penn State by being involved with MIRCI (Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement), which promotes scholarship and activism on mothering and motherhood. In this arena, Dr. Andrea O’Reilly, founder and director of MIRCI, has been very instrumental in shaping my perspectives on mothering in higher education. Thus, it seemed only fitting to honor the topic of motherhood studies with my book selection, Academic Motherhood in a Post-Second Wave Context: Challenges, Strategies, and Possibilities (Eds. D. Lynn O’Brien Hallstein and Andrea O’Reilly), Bradford, Ontario: Demeter Press, 2012.

I hope that this book will be helpful to other women and mothers on the tenure track who are striving to achieve a healthy and happy, work-life balance.


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