Elliott School of Communication - Wichita State University
In this essay, we explore the potential of aunting relationships for rethinking feminist selves and relationships, especially in academic settings. Relationships between generations of academic feminists have often been described using mother-daughter metaphors. We suggest some limitations to framing teaching and learning across academic generations (e.g., teacher-student) and among colleagues (e.g., peer review of scholarship) using maternal imagery. We then argue that the figure of the aunt offers a powerful trope for negotiating relationships between the "waves" of academic feminism. Aunts provide a generative alternative to mothering and sisterhood as frameworks for feminist womentoring, teaching, and scholarly reviewing.
Ellingson, L. L., & Sotirin, P. (2008). Academic Aunting: Reimaging Feminist (Wo)Mentoring, Teaching, and Relationships. Women & Language, 31(1), 35–42.