Mothering in the Remote Academy
Building Bridges and Negotiating Isolation
Keywords:Pandemic, Mothering, Academy, Gender Inequality, Youth Integration, Labour, Equitable Faculty Workloads
In this article, I use Rachel Kadish’s feminist analysis in The Weight of Ink as a jumping off point to explore the experience of mothering in the academy during the pandemic. The structural gender inequalities that constrain opportunities for Kadish’s female characters will be familiar to women in the academy who have long struggled to achieve work-life balance under patriarchal conditions. I argue that such inequalities have persisted in the shift to remote teaching, and that the pandemic experience of mothers in the academy has been characterized by challenges related to both proximity and absence. This, in turn, has implications for the role academic mothers play in helping youth integrate effectively into their university classes and cohorts. I maintain that women’s traditional role as bridge builders can contribute to positive outcomes for youth, but institutions must establish equitable faculty workloads in order to support these efforts in a more systematic and structured manner.
Ailes, E. (3 Dec 2020). ‘Covid Ended Our Marriage’: The couples who split in the pandemic. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-55146909
Baker, V. L. (2021). Women in Higher Education: Re-imagining Leadership in the Academy in Times of Crisis. The Journal of Faculty Development, 35(1), 57–62.
Burk, B. N., Pechenik Mausolf, A., & Oakleaf, L. (2021). Pandemic Motherhood and the Academy: A Critical Examination of the Leisure-Work Dichotomy. Leisure DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003145301-4
Cotnam, H. (3 May 2021). Broken marriages becoming
pandemic’s other toll. CBC News. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/divorce-separation-covid-19-lawyers-counsellors-business-booming-1.6009182
Das Gupta, T. (25 May 2020). Inquiry into coronavirus nursing home deaths needs to include discussion of workers and race. The Conversation: Academic rigour, journalistic flair. The Conversation Media Group Ltd.
Dominici, F., Fried, L. P., & Zeger, S. L. (2009). So Few Women Leaders. Academe (Washington, 1979), 95(4), 25–27.
Fukumura, Y. E., Schott, J. M., Lucas, G. M., Becerik-Gerber, B., & Roll, S. C. (2021). Negotiating Time and Space When Working From Home: Experiences During COVID-19. OTJR (Thorofare, N.J.), 41(4), 223–231. https://doi.org/10.1177/15394492211033830 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/15394492211033830
Hideg, I., & Priesemuth, M. (19 Feb 2021). 3 ways companies could offer more father-friendly policies that will help women. The Conversation: Academic rigour, journalistic flair. The Conversation Media Group Ltd.
Kadish, R. (2017). The Weight of Ink. Mariner Books.
Langin, K. (2021). Pandemic hit academic mothers hard, data show. Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science), 371(6530), 660–660. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.371.6530.660 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.371.6530.660
Lloyd, E. (19 Jan 2021). Divorce rates up 30% due to COVID-19 pandemic: B.C. group. CTV News. https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/divorce-rates-up-30-due-to-covid-19-pandemic-b-c-group-1.5273859
Minello, A., Martucci, S., & Manzo, L. K. C. (2021). The pandemic and the academic mothers: present hardships and future perspectives. European
Misra, J., Lundquist, J. H., Holmes, E., & Agiomavritis, S. (2011). The Ivory Ceiling of Service Work. Academe, 97(1), 22–26.
Newport, C. (2016). Deep work: rules for focused success in a distracted world. (First edition). Grand Central Publishing.
O’Meara, K., Culpepper, D., Misra, J., and Jaegar, A.
(2021). Equity-Minded Faculty Workloads: What We Can and Should Do Now. American Council on Education.
Squazzoni, F., Bravo, G., Grimaldo, F., García-Costa, D., Farjam, M., & Mehmani, B. (2021). Gender gap in journal submissions and peer review during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. A study on 2329 Elsevier journals. PloS One, 16(10), e0257919–e0257919. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0257919 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0257919
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Maggie Quirt
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright for all content belongs to the author(s). All materials are published with a CC BY 4.0 license.