Newsletters

Newsletter Winter 2000

Volume 5, Number 2

Executive Board Activities

Fatemeh Keshavarz

The joint dinner in November with the Academic Women’s Network of the School of Medical was attended by about 30 women faculty and included much social interaction and a business meeting. The meeting offered brief reports on the recent activities of both AWF and AWN committees followed by a lively general discussion on the nature of the AWF report on the status of women, the meeting that the chancellor was going to hold with AWF members and ways in which we could best use the report to bring about positive changes for women.

The AWF executive board has worked on a number of issues related to the report and other AWF business since October. One is the issue of mentoring. The board has authorized Fatemeh Keshavarz, president, to gather a small task force of senior women faculty from Arts & Sciences interested and experienced in the issue of mentoring junior faculty to discuss the ways they think best address the mentoring issue and to undertake a number of possible initiatives. Fatemeh received a letter in December 1999 from Sherill Kushner, an alumna of Washington University (A&S 1971) who currently serves on the Alumni Board of Governors Executive Committee, as vice president overseeing all the alumni clubs. Sherill wrote: “I read with interest the article in a recent WUSTL Record newspaper about the report and recommendations made by the Association of Women’s [sic] Faculty. I am pleased to hear that your concerns are being heard and seriously considered by Chancellor Wrighton.” Ms. Kushner added: “I am writing to let you know that I am constantly vigilant about female representation at all levels of Washington University. At one time, I was the only woman (and the only non-St. Louis resident) on the executive committee of the Alumni Board of Governors) . . . I write all this to let you know that there are alumni who support your cause and are also trying to make some inroads for women at the university. Thank you for your hard work.”

Fatemeh has received a copy of the Arts & Sciences Faculty Council response to the AWF Report and Dean Macias’s response to the council, both of which the board is currently reviewing. The board is pleased to know that there is a response from the Arts & Sciences Faculty Council and looks forward to reactions from the membership, who will receive copies of this document during the coming month.

The Spring Dinner and General Business Meeting are to be held on Monday, May 1st from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Save this date!! Letters requesting nominations for the AWF Graduate Student Awards will go out to the membership and to the deans at the end of February. The executive board will review these in mid-March so that the awards can be made formally at the Spring Dinner. The awards recognize three women graduate students, one in Arts & Sciences working toward a PhD, one in the professional schools and one in University College for exceptional scholarly accomplishment and leadership potential. Nomination letters and CVs should be sent to Fatemeh Keshavarz, Campus Box 1111.

The committee reports have been submitted by the chairs and edited by the editor (as has the board report).

Brown Bag Luncheons

Alison Wylie

AWF has sponsored three Brown Bag Lunches so far this year: one in October, focused on the status of women faculty report; one in December, examining mentoring issues; and one in early February with a joint meeting of AWF with the Women Administrators’ Brown Bag Luncheon group. The first two lunch conversations are reported in this newsletter. There was no fixed topic for discussion at the third lunch with women administrators; it was meant to provide an opportunity for open-ended discussion. By all accounts it succeeded: several AWF members have since expressed an interest in making this joint brown bag luncheon an annual event, and plans are taking shape for several more.

A number of topics and dates have been proposed for future AWF lunches. I would welcome additional suggestions and thank those who have been in touch about this already. The details should be settled in the next week or so. Watch your email for Brown Bag Luncheon announcements.

Child Care and Family Responsive Policies

Kimberly Jade Norwood

The Family Responsive Policies Committee met in January to figure out our issues for the year. We decided to focus on child care issues, figuring out ways to get elder care information to our membership and exploring how to help our members remain informed about the University’s Family Leave Policy. To coincide with the newly formed University Child Care Committee’s activities, we began with child care issues.

Although the committee considered many, many issues, we decided to focus on year-round, on-site child care for children from 6 weeks to kindergarten age, open from approximately 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. We presented this request to the University Child Care Committee. Richard Roloff informed us that the university currently has no child care facility; the “medical school” facility is really owned and operated by Children’s Hospital and the “Washington University Nursery School” is really an independent entity, with no particular obligation to serve the faculty, staff and students in the university. Moreover, it is a nursery school, not a child care center.

We have received the encouraging report that the committee chaired by Richard Roloff is making speedy progress. As university committee member Mané Lagos has put it, “From the beginning, we have been working under the assumption that this is a benefit the university should offer.” According to Richard Roloff, the University Committee hopes to: 1) define long term plans for child care assistance to Washington University employees, 2) design a strategy with Phase 1 to be implemented by the fall of 2000 along these lines, and 3) develop plans for regular implementation of additional increments phases within the permanent plan.

The AWF committee’s work is focusing on exploring what other universities in our class (the top 25 research universities in the U.S.) are doing now, creating and taking another survey of Washington University employees and considering the multiple ways the university might define “on-site” child care. The committee is meeting on a regular basis.

Members: Kim Norwood (Chair), Nancy Berg, Lynda McDowell, Elizabeth C. Childs, Rocío Cortés and Maria-Ines Lagos.

Mentoring and Social Interactions

The committee has used the Brown Bag Luncheons as a primary tool for exploring mentoring among the other topics discussed at the sessions.

Members: Ingrid Monson (Chair) and Alison Wylie.

Nominating Committee

Rebecca Copeland

Members: Rebecca Copeland (Chair) and Vivian Pollak.

The Nominating Committee will be seeking names of members willing to run for positions on the board. Among other positions, we will be looking for the names of those to nominate for president-elect, secretary, treasurer and councillors-at-large. Committee members will be contacting potential nominees in the near future. We would also appreciate and welcome suggestions.

Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

JoEllen Lewis

The Non-Tenure-Track Committee met first semester to discuss our concerns, and we concluded that several of the concerns of tenure-track faculty noted in the AWF report were similar to concerns of non-tenure-track faculty. In order to address such concerns, the committee is working on the following:

  1. Gathering data from the university regarding the exact numbers of non-tenure-track faculty and their impact on the university teaching load
  2. Identifying concerns and suggesting solutions with respect to several core areas of concern noted in the AWF report, including the areas of faculty devolpment, contracts/information and environment.

The committee welcomes the input of all AWF members. Please feel free to e-mail Jo Ellen Lewis (lewisj@wulaw.wustl.edu) with your comments/concerns and, most importantly, your suggestions for addressing the concerns.

Members: JoEllen Lewis (Chair), Lynne Breakstone, Donna Gardner, Ginger Marcus, Linda McDowell, Nancy Pope and Nancy Schnurr
(new members welcome).

Publications Committee

The Publications Committee has taken care of invitations to the AWF/AWN joint dinner, updated the AWF list and distributed the 1999-2000 AWF Directory. The committee is seeking a new editor for the AWF News to begin the 2000-2001 academic year. Mary Ann Dzuback would be happy to assist in the transition to a new editor but will not continue to edit the newsletter after the April 2000 issue (vol. 5, no. 3) is complete.

Members: Mary Ann Dzuback (Chair), Nancy Berg, and Emma Kafalenos.

Sexual Harassment Monitoring Committee

The Sexual Harassment Monitoring Committee has not met this year and is searching for a new chair.

Members: Fatemeh Keshavarz (Chair), Pamela Barmash, and Elizabeth Oyler.

Tenure and Promotion Committee

The Tenure and Promotion Committee members have made a number of presentations of the Report on the Status of Women Faculty at Washington University. The report, researched and published specifically to examine perceptions of the working climate for tenured and tenure-track women and men on the Danforth Campus, was well received by the administration and the Danforth deans. The committee has been awaiting the Faculty Council’s conclusions regarding strategies to implement the report’s recommendations before holding further meetings.

Members: Mary Ann Dzuback (Chair) and Lee Epstein

Brown Bag Lunches

Workplace Environment
October 25, 1999
Alison Wylie

The first Brown Bag Luncheon, in late October, was on “Workplace Environment Issues for Women Faculty.” The timing could not have been better: when we planned this lunch, we didn’t know that the AWF “Status of Women Report” would be released the week before we’d scheduled it. In the event, the AWF members who attended it engaged in a spirited discussion that turned almost immediately to the specifics of the Report. Several issues emerged in this discussion as matters of particular concern. One was mentoring: what works, what we need and what AWF can do to help develop effective mentoring programs on the Danforth campus. We organized a second lunch on this topic in mid-December; an account of that discussion follows.

AWF Brown Bag Lunch on Mentoring
December 14, 1999
Ingrid Monson and Alison Wylie

Over 20 AWF members attended and engaged in wide-ranging discussion of several different types of mentoring, concerns about the strengths and weaknesses of different kinds of mentoring programs and strategies for developing effective mentoring practices on the Danforth campus. Four colleagues agreed to initiate this discussion: Susan Appleton (Law) reported on the mentoring program that has been developed by the School of Law; Miriam Bailin (English) described some of the feedback she got from AWF members when she circulated a request for recommendations and proposals on mentoring in November; Nancy Pope (Graduate Studies) identified several features of mentoring programs developed for graduate students that may be relevant to faculty (she has been collecting information on existing programs for the Deans’ Discussion List in the Council of Graduate Schools); and Marilyn Friedman (Philosophy) raised several issues concerning the various levels at which mentoring support is needed: at a discipline-specific level and, more generally, at an institutional level.
A number of promising ideas were proposed and discussed at length. The point of departure was Susan Appleton’s account of how the School of Law has proceeded. Some of the most successful mentoring activities in this context seem to be collective; the school has developed a number of information sessions and documents that are particularly relevant to new faculty but are open to everyone. These include:

  • Annual orientation sessions sponsored through the year on such topics as teaching, exams and scholarship
  • A Question and Answer booklet on the tenure process that supplements the formal “Statement of Practices and Procedures for Tenure and Promotion”
  • A more general document on “Things I Wish I’d Known as a New Faculty Member” that includes a description of governance and procedures of various kinds as well as pragmatic information on how to do things/get things done (e.g., what time classes really start; how to request photocopying; policy on office hours, and so on);
  • A weekly work-in-progress meeting designed to showcase faculty research and support new faculty in developing research programs

In addition, the School of Law supports a formal one-to-one mentoring program by which new junior faculty members are assigned mutually agreed upon senior mentors when they first arrive on campus. In connection with this individual mentoring program, the school has developed an outline of the various roles a senior mentor can play in assisting an untenured faculty member in planning and successfully implementing a research program.

AWF now has a copy of the various information packages produced as part of the mentoring program in Law as well as a statement describing its overall purpose. Several AWF members have expressed an interest in developing comparable documents for other academic units on the Danforth Campus and perhaps for AWF as a whole. There was extended discussion, in this connection, of the problem that expectations for scholarship and teaching vary substantially across different academic disciplines (and associated departments, schools, faculties); guidelines that apply broadly would likely have to be supplemented by finely-tuned, area-specific mentoring information and support.

Where formal individual mentoring is concerned, several of those present at the luncheon described problems with such programs that have been identified by studies of their effectiveness or are suggested by direct experience with them. One is that when a senior mentor is drawn from the department the junior faculty member has joined, there may be inherent tensions or conflicts of interest that compromise the mentoring relationship. As important as it is for a junior faculty member to get insider advice from colleagues directly involved in their discipline and department, several other kinds of external advice and support seem equally important. Suggestions along these lines included:

  1. Developing a mentoring network, perhaps supported by AWF, that facilitates informal (mentee-initiated) links with senior mentors outside the junior faculty member’s home department
  2. Establishing an ombudsperson charged with mentoring untenured faculty, and perhaps also with ensuring that departments prepare tenure dossiers properly
  3. Establishing links to field-specific mentoring networks; several examples were given mentoring programs supported by professional societies.

One broader issue that surfaced repeatedly was that of what role AWF should play in formulating mentoring policy and developing effective mentoring practices. It seems clear that this will require a great deal more thought and discussion. The AWF executive board is in the process of establishing an advisory committee that will solicit input from the AWF membership as a whole and develop a set of recommendations about what we can do to ensure that strong mentoring programs are developed on the Danforth Campus.

News of Members

Lisa Baldez was named the Harbison Faculty Fellow, a three-year appointment that involves support for research and teaching. In addition, she is chairing the Gender and Politics Section of the annual conference of the Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago in April of 2000.

Milica Banjanin (Russian) presented “Blok’s Windows” at the AAASS National Convention in St. Louis in November 1999; “The Mutual Reflection of Scene and Spectator as Symbol in the Works of Aleksandr Blok” at the International Conference of the Academy of Sciences of Russia and The Institute of Russian Literature; and “Russian Symbolism in the Mirror of XX Century” in St. Petersburg, Russia, in October 1999 — all of which were invited. She also has published “Uokvirivanje stoljeca” (“Framing the Century”) in Knjizevna smotra 1999 and “Elena Guro: From the City’s Junkyard of Images to a Poetics of Nature” in Studia Slavica Finlandensia 1999.

Darrell M. Berg has been appointed to the executive committee of the edition entitled Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Collected Works and participated in a conference to launch the edition held at Harvard University on October of 1999.

Letha Chadiha (Social Work) was recently selected with 10 other U.S. social work faculty to steer a new program for future social work geriatric professionals.

In addition to serving as curatorial consultant to an exhibition “Degas to Picasso: The Painter, the Sculptor and the Camera,” now at The Dallas Museum of Art, and moving on to the Guggenheim Bilbao in June, Elizabeth Childs (Art History) contributed three essays to the catalogue “Degas to Picasso: The Artist and the Camera” (1999). She also lectured on the exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in December and will participate in a symposium at the Dallas Museum of Art in March.

With the mask exhibition at the St. Louis Art Museum, Mary-Jean Cowell (Dance) was invited to lecture on “Noh Theatre: Distilled Image and Gesture.” She prepared two choreographies for the Washington University Dance Theatre concerts in January.

Mary Ann Dzuback (Education) presented a paper entitled “Creative Financing in Social Sciences: Women Scholars and Early Research” at the Social Sciences History Association in Fort Worth in November 1999.

The Tileston Chair of Political Economy, first held by William Greenleaf Eliot, has been awarded to Jean Ensminger (Anthropology), who will be installed later this year.

At a Missouri higher education planning conference, Beata Grant (Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures) received a 1999 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award came from the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

Melissa Jonson-Reid‘s (Social Work) “Some thoughts on the increasing use of administrative data in child maltreatment research” Child Maltreatment (with B. Drake); “Child abuse to youth violence,” in Prevention and Treatment of Violence in Children and Youth: Etiology, Assessment and Recent Practice Innovations; “Foster Care and Dating Violence” in Journal of Interpersonal Violence were all published in 1999. Her “Social Work in a Public School Setting,” in Teaching School Social Work: Model Course Outlines and Resources and “Understanding Confidentiality in School-Based Interagency Projects” in Social Work in Education were published in 2000.

The North Carolina Center for South Asia Studies of the Triangle South Asia Consortium, which has received $384,502 in grants from the Department of Education to develop self-instructional language program in Persian, Bengali and Tamil, has invited Fatemeh Keshavarz (Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures) to join them as their Persian specialist. Her responsibilities involve curriculum design, teacher training suggestions and annual campus visits to evaluate the program. The project is called “Focusing South Asia Studies through the Lens of Vernacular Language Instruction.” She was also invited to become the Associate Review Editor responsible for Iran-related publications of a leading journal in her field, The Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, starting in fall 1999.

Ginger Marcus (Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures) is coordinating the 12th Annual Conference of the Central Association of Teachers of Japanese. The conference, titled “J2K: Designing Japanese Curriculum for the New Millennium,” will be held on the Washington University campus in Simon Hall on April 14 and 15. [For more information, please visit the conference website at http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~vsmarcus/catj2000.html

Rebecca Messbarger (Romance Languages) was recently awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the academic year 2000-2001 to conduct research in Italy for a book on Anna Morandi Manzolini, an eighteenth-century Bolognese anatomist and anatomical wax modeler whose patrons included Catherine the Great, Pope Benedict XIV and the Royal Society of London.

At a special exhibition called “The Terrain of Freedom: American Art and the Civil War” at the Art Institute of Chicago, Angela Miller (Art History) lectured on “Albert Bierstadt, the West, and the Political Uses of the Ideal Landscape.” And at a Stanford symposium, she presented “‘Through a Glass Darkly’: Some Versions of Subjectivity in Fin-de-Siècle Representations of Women.”

Helen Power (Women’s Studies) had a millennial op-ed piece in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on December 23, 1999, charting the gains women had made in the last hundred years but pointing to continual gender imbalance and urging active feminism for the 21st century.

Rachel Roth (Women’s Studies and Political Science) had a letter about abortion in the New York Times on February 7, 2000, arguing that Faith Wattleton’s argument about choice is overly simplistic.

Patty Jo Watson (Anthropology) was awarded the Archaeological Institute of America’s gold medal for “distinguished archaeological achievement” at the annual meeting in late December of 1999.

Events

On February 17 at 8:00 pm in Hurst Lounge, Hurst Visiting Professor of English Christine Froula will deliver a talk entitled “Laughter of the Furies: Women and Courtroom Drama in ‘A Question of Silence'” (the Dutch film by Marleen Gorris). Froula, a modernist and a scholar whose work is deeply concerned with women’s issues, is Professor of English at Northwestern. Her second lecture will be on March 2 at 4:00 p.m. in Hurst Lounge and is entitled “The X-Rayed Gaze: Self-Portraiture, Censorship and Public Conscience” (on contemporary women artists). Both talks will be followed by discussion.

Upcoming Events

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The fourth Annual Women Chemists Luncheon is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 5, at the St. Louis City Museum. The speaker will be Dr. Diane Bunce, from the Chemistry Department at the Catholic University of America, who will deliver a talk entitled “What Is So Scary About Learning Chemistry?” Professor Bunce is a renowned researcher and author in the area of chemical education. She is also a co-author of the “Chemistry in Context” textbook, sponsored by the American Chemical Society, a text widely used in General Education Chemistry courses for non-science majors. The cost for lunch is $10, which includes admission to the museum. Please RSVP to lobrien@siue.edu by March 1st.

At 7:00 pm on March 20, Left Bank Books is holding a book party/reading for Rachel Roth’s (Political Science) new book Making Women Pay: The Hidden Costs of Fetal Rights.

On March 31, Ann Arnett Ferguson of Smith College will be on campus to talk about the research for her forthcoming book “Bad Boys: Public Schools and the Making of Black Masculinity.” (Room and time to be announced; Contact Rachel Roth; rroth@artsci.wustl.edu)

Dr. Tani Barlow, Associate Professor of History, University of Washington, will offer the Seventh Annual Stanley Spector Lecture on Friday, April 14. Her lecture, “The Problem with ‘Women’ in Twentieth-Century Chinese Thought,” will begin at 5:00 in January Hall 110 and be followed by a wine reception. Barlow teaches and researches on the topic of gender in modern China. The author of numerous articles on the subject, Barlow is also Senior Editor of the Positions: East Asian Cultures Critique.

The Annual Spector Lecture was founded in 1994 to honor Dr. Stanley Spector (1925-1999) for his contributions to the creation and development of Asian Studies at Washington University. For more information on the Lecture Series, consult the East Asian Studies website:
http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~eas/special lectures.htm

Doing Justice For Women

Jane H. Aiken

The Washington University Civil Justice Clinic has long represented women in the St. Louis metropolitan area while operating out of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. This academic year the clinic is free-standing and housed inside the School of Law. Our commitment to women has not flagged. Currently the clinic represents women in their efforts to procure protection orders against their alleged abusers. We act as Guardian ad litem for children in which a concerned party is seeking an order of protection against an alleged abuser. Finally, we participate in significant Missouri appeals and are working to develop clemency petitions for women convicted of murder who killed their abusers. The clinic is staffed by a professor and a staff attorney who supervise eight law students who are certified to practice law. The students develop the relationship with the client, make strategic decisions and present the case in court under the guidance of the supervisors. The clinic is a rich learning environment. Not only do the students learn the skills of interviewing, counseling, negotiation and trial presentation, but they also gain invaluable insight into themselves as professionals and the plight of poor women and children. Students struggle to develop relationships with their clients that empower them, rather than becoming merely one more person who tells her what to do. Students learn that the violence that infects their client’s lives is just one of the many challenges that their client deals with day to day.

The clemency work gets students into the women’s prison, interviewing women who have served many years. These women often were unable to have a jury hear about their abuse either because the law deemed that evidence irrelevant or lawyers failed to investigate and offer such evidence. Last semester, in the course of representing a woman for clemency, we had the opportunity to appear before the parole board. The students investigated her case and learned that she had been a victim of extensive emotional and physical abuse. Like many women who have been battered, our client lacked self-esteem and felt she must have done something to deserve the abuse. Therefore, she never pushed to have that evidence considered. Instead she pled guilty and was sentenced to 20 years. The students interviewed family and friends and developed a record of abuse. They traveled over 185 miles to her home town to collect close to 400 letters in support of her release and 170 more saying that they would be her customers (she is a cosmetologist) if she were released. They arranged for counseling and support upon release. Most importantly, they worked with our client to empower her and help her see that she was deserving of freedom. Our client was granted parole and will be leaving prison in June. Her life is forever changed as are the lives of the students.