Jane F. Gerhard, PhD

For most of my life I understood myself as a reader and a listener, not as a writer. After graduating from Hampshire College in 1983 with a degree in Women’s Studies, I saw my professional choices in stark and unimaginative terms: be a professional listener (a therapist) or a professional reader (graduate school in the humanities). I earned my PhD in American Studies from Brown University in 1996. And while there I discovered one aspect of my voice in college classrooms and in writing for feminist journals and academic presses. Two books, six campuses, hundreds of students later, I am no longer a professor but have come to see that I have something else, something more, to say. These days my writing comes from every part of my experience, not only my PhD. I write about psychology and relationships, love and resiliency, in novels, memoirs, and non-fiction. History informs all of it, either through deep research in libraries and archives or by way of memory and imagination

RI Council Blog: “what is the 21st century essay?”