IAS Notes: Kristen Ghodsee

The time I spent at the School of Social Science was an invaluable intellectual and professional experience. As a junior scholar, my immersion in the rich, interdisciplinary environment at IAS definitively shaped the subsequent course of my academic career. First, I had the time and resources necessary to finish writing my second book, a project that benefited from the immense generosity, critical guidance, and practical feedback of other Members. Many of these colleagues were not only insightful interlocutors but also became dear friends, with whom I still maintain contact to this day. Second, as a single mother, having access to the exceptional childcare at Crossroads was absolutely vital in giving me the peace of mind necessary to concentrate on my research and produce the quality of scholarship necessary to achieve tenure. Most importantly, I had the opportunity to work together with Professor Joan Scott. The chance to share arguments and ideas with her was like drinking a bucket of cerebral Miracle-Gro. Professor Scott’s selflessness as a mentor encouraged me to push myself beyond my theoretical comfort zones and to challenge prevailing paradigms, skills that continue to enrich all of my scholarly work and for which I am deeply grateful. —Kristen Ghodsee, John S. Osterweis Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, Bowdoin College; Member, School of Social Science, 2006–07