Nancy K. Miller, Tahneer Oksman, and Elizabeth AlsopApr 26, 2023
Feminists Reclaim Mentorship
State University of New York Press 2023
Mentorship continues to loom large in stories about women's work and personal lives-- sometimes for the better, but often for the worse. If mentors can nurture and support, they can also bitterly disappoint, reproducing the hardships they once suffered and reinforcing the same old hierarchies and inequities. The stories gathered in Feminists Reclaim Mentorship (SUNY Press, 2023) challenge our fundamental assumptions about mentorship, illuminating the obstacles that make it difficult to connect meaningfully and ethically while reimagining the possibilities for reciprocity.
Does mentorship require sameness? Might we find more inventive, collaborative ways to bond than the traditional top-down model of mentoring? Drawing on their experiences in academia, creative writing, publishing, and journalism, the volume's editors, Nancy K. Miller and Tahneer Oksman, and their twenty-six contributors collectively strive for relationships that acknowledge differences alongside the importance of common bonds. Feminists Reclaim Mentorship will resonate across workspaces and arrives at a moment when the need to form feminist connections within and between generations couldn't feel more urgent.
Host Annie Berke sits down with Drs. Miller and Oksman, as well as contributor Dr. Elizabeth Alsop, to discuss the origins of this anthology, the biggest myths behind mentorship, and what mentors and mentees owe to one another.
Nancy K. Miller is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her many books include My Brilliant Friends: Our Lives in Feminism; Breathless: An American Girl in Paris; What They Saved: Pieces of a Jewish Past; and But Enough About Me: Why We Read Other People's Lives.
Tahneer Oksman is Associate Professor of Academic Writing at Marymount Manhattan College. She is the author of "How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?" Women and Jewish American Identity in Contemporary Graphic Memoirs and coeditor (with Seamus O'Malley) of The Comics of Julie Doucet and Gabrielle Bell: A Place Inside Yourself. She reviews memoirs, graphic novels, and comics for NPR and The Washington Post.
Elizabeth Alsop is Assistant Professor of Communication and Media at the CUNY School of Professional Studies, and affiliated faculty in the M.A. in Liberal Studies program at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of Making Conversation in Modernist Fiction (Ohio State UP, 2019) and a number of scholarly essays on 20th-century fiction, film and television aesthetics, and contemporary TV storytelling. Her cultural criticism has appeared in The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Salon, and The New York Times Magazine. She is currently writing a book on the films of Elaine May.
Annie Berke is the Film Editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books and author of Their Own Best Creations: Women Writers in Postwar Television (University of California Press, 2022). Her scholarship and criticism has been published in Feminist Media Histories, Public Books, Literary Hub, and Ms.