If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tenure Book

In my university promotion and tenure is celebrated by having faculty select a book for the library collection.   It is then bookplated to commemorate your accomplishment.  This book is usually one that has shaped your worldview and you are asked to write a brief statement about why you chose it.  There is also a photo of you holding the book and then a reception for all honorees for the current year.

The reception is next month and I am behind on my statement and photo.  After much consideration (asking me to pick one book that has shaped my worldview is cruel) I chose Adrienne Rich's Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution.

Here is what I wrote:

I was not prepared for this book when I first read it in my early twenties. When I picked the book up I was not expecting to finish it.  I was not yet a mother and did not believe I would find much in it that was relevant to my life.  I was very wrong. I swallowed the book whole. While I had read a fair amount of critical feminist literature by that time, I had never encountered a text that so eloquently interspersed personal narrative with historical and literary analysis.  My eyes were opened to motherhood as an institution and, several years later when I became a mother, they were opened again to how that institution affected my experience of mothering and my position in the world.  However it took many more years for me to realize the ultimate influence of this book on my life and my work as a scholar.


Now I just need a picture of me holding it.  I wonder if I should use my worn and tattered copy? 

5 comments:

jo(e) said...

What a great choice.

Mom said...

Perfect. Yes, the worn and tattered copy. You should look crisp and spiffy, however.

leaningtowardthesun said...

sounds like a nice choice and yes the loved copy will do!

JustMe said...

awesome tradition! and lovely choice!

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