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Bobbi Ann Hammill. Teaching and Parenting: Who Are the Members of Our Profession?

Hammill, Bobbi Ann. "Teaching and Parenting: Who Are the Members of Our Profession?" CCC 59.1 (2007): 98-124.


This qualitative investigation explores the perceptions of four women compositionists regarding mothers, teaching, and scholarship in the field of composition. I examine narrative case studies about four women who have PhDs in composition from the same doctoral program. Findings indicate that each of these four women perceives her mother as a literacy sponsor and sees her father as a literacy doer. Participants reveal that their mothers supported their educational decisions and encouraged them to gain more education than they themselves had. Participants pursued a doctorate for practical reasons such as proximity, cost, job security, promotion, and tenure as well as knowing someone else who had done it. In addition, each of the four participants identifies as a teacher first and scholar second, and each also expresses self-doubt regarding her ability to write and publish academic discourse. Participants view teaching as an ethical responsibility much like mothering and protect the memory of their mothers in various ways. Although participants separated from their mothers in order to pursue higher education, they still exemplified rhetorical ties to them.

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