I had to write a professional blurb about myself and I wrote: I teach primarily X but have also taught Y, and I publish primarily on A but have also worked on B.
This was ostensibly because the blurb was written in connection with a proposal on Y and B, not X and A (which my vita supports more easily).
Nonetheless I should have written and rather than but in the sentence outlined above, and the reason I did not had to do with gender.
6 thoughts on “On self-presentation and gender”
I didn’t even mention teaching in my blurb. And I didn’t mention what I publish on, just where. I’ll try to incorporate this information the next time. Creating these blurbs and conference proposals is yet another skill we weren’t taught in grad school. 😦
My normal reaction is to do that — name, rank, and places of publication — but I had some weird reaction to the request, here, for blurb, felt unsure because I have got *no* publications on this topic yet *oodles* of conference papers. That is why I made my abstract so developed and definite — it has to be part 2 of another presentation that is already written out, so that I finally actually *publish* something on this topic as opposed to think about it, talk about it, write abstracts about it, make diagrams about it.
Ah — I see — my presentation is not on a woman writer and is not solely about gender, and I don’t work primarily on women. So I wanted to say I had taught in women’s and gender studies. Everything I did in that blurb had something to do with insecurity, which was interesting — the first sign of it being those “buts.”
Oh, I get it. But I don’t think you need to defend your right to be there with what you teach or research. You are part of the female Hispanic cultural space by virtue of being a professor of Hispanic literature and a woman.
Yes, but my dissertation director goes to this, and she thinks I have no rights to anything, so I hate her. And I am MEGA insecure about this project, the Brazilians say I have no right to be involved in it. So I have all these identity issues here and I realize that I also did not think I deserved to publish the book I had under contract for tenure, so pulled it — it was going to contradict things that were important to my father then, and I just did not think I had the right. (This, you see, is why I should have been a lawyer — fight for others.)
I’m trying to clear the decks myself, consciously doing more to get credit and payoffs for what I do without tipping over into narcissistic self regard or angry denunciations of perceived obstructionists. Really, nothing should be holding me (or you) back now, but scruples do intervene. That is human and not something to blame yourself for.