Sue William Silverman's Top Memoirs List
Calling: Essays on Teaching in the Mother Tongue

Pasadena: Trilogy Publications, 1992

Blending autobiography, literary criticism, and feminist theory, this provocative collection is a highly personal account of the daily reality of a woman in academe. It begins with the author's arrival, as a new Ph.D., at Kalamazoo College in Michigan in 1977, and charts her maturation as a teacher, a feminist, a professional, a woman.

These essays wrestle with issues, rituals, and events familiar to anyone associated with a college or university - and highly revealing to those who live beyond the ivy-covered walls: encounters with students, sexual harassment, faculty politics, antifeminist backlash.

Ultimately Griffin shows teaching to be a powerful, dangerous intersection of lives at critical moments, and contributes to the emerging picture of academe not as "ivory tower" but as a world of conflict and change.


"Any feminist in the academic world or considering it should read this book and take it to heart. It is the most complete and most gracious account of life in the male heart of academia yet to appear."

--Carolyn G. Heilbrun

"I was riveted from page one, and my interest never wavered."

--Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey

"Reading Griffin's book I am struck by my own need for . . . 'teacher stories' . . . . Calling feeds my own felt need for images of my life as an academic feminist."

--Judith Fetterley The Women's Review of Books

  © 2014 Gail Griffin.   All rights reserved.   Contact Gail by e-mailing gail@gailgriffin.org.