WOMEN OF ACADEME: Outsiders in the Sacred Grove by Nadya & Mona Harrington Aisenberg

WOMEN OF ACADEME: Outsiders in the Sacred Grove

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Polemical generalizing about the plight of women in the Ivory Tower. Aisenberg (poet/critic/publisher) and Harrington (The Dream of Deliverance in American Politics, 1986; Pol. Sci./Vassar) offer no fresh explanation for the fact that only six percent of America's tenured professors are women. As part of their feminist agenda, however, they do abandon traditional, statistical methods of surveying in favor of a more idiosyncratic methodology as they generalize from 62 interviews with academics of varying generations (all over the age of 35, and no men included). The authors espouse that brand of feminism that posits different natures for men and women (with the female being superior), and thus attribute all the ills of academe --especially the ""publish or perish"" mentality--to the masculine mind that dominates the university. If female values ruled, they suggest, scholars would pursue their calling out of love lot the subject, would transform classrooms with their compelling teaching, and would publish only when the work merited it. The content of academic books would change, too, from dry and theoretical to personal and contextual. But Harrington and Aisenberg are inconsistent: women, they argue, must sacrifice their purity, learn politics, and climb to the top--and thus the authors accept the status quo of the university even as they condemn its values. A skewered treatment of an important subject.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1988
Publisher: Univ. of Massachusetts Press