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Historically, academe has been regarded as a male space owing to the assumption that knowledge is masculine. Further complicating this inequity is the tendency of academe to favour authoritarian perspectives largely associated with male ways of knowing. As women academics struggle to negotiate hospitable professional spaces, they are often pulled between conflicting senses of self. Scholarly writing within disciplinary contexts is one way that women can employ agency against patriarchy to author their own sense of self. In this spirit, this peer-reviewed collection aims to bring awareness to the unique experiences of women in the academy.


This is the book that I wish I had when I began my career navigating my life as scholar, artist, and mother in the academy. Sister Scholars is packed with insights from diverse lived experiences and various methodologies and brings forth radical ways of being attentive to one’s voice, while not sacrificing any parts of oneself. Be prepared to explore the terroir of a rich fertile land and discover a hospitable place that is both creative and critical and spins a new world. I celebrate this book with all my being and commend it as a pinnacle of finding a way to be a scholar that is deeply human and fully responsive to all the fabrics of our lives.


Celeste Snowber, PhD, dancer, poet, scholar

Professor, Simon Fraser University


Sister Scholars weaves a thoughtful and reflexive thread through what often feels like disparate and competing roles for academic women - daughter, activist, mother, sister, friend, teacher, scholar, partner, and leader. A unifying theme throughout the book is that, as a Sister Scholar, there is a continual and complex negotiation of space, identity, and personal resources. It’s often emotional labour. I located myself on every page and, in doing so, experienced a deep sense of connectedness with the authors and their words. The idea of a sisterhood was prominent. Sister Scholars is an important read for academics and not just those that identify as women. Locating ourselves in the experience with others is liberating and affirming and so too is the work of understanding the experiences of others.


Donna Kotsopoulos, PhD

Professor & Dean

Western University

Sister Scholars

  • Ellyn Lyle, PhD, is intensely interested in creating spaces for learners to engage meaningfully with their studies, and she is drawn to inquiries that seek to overcome compartmentalized, fragmented, or dehumanized approaches to education. Having joined the academic community full time in 2011, she is currently Dean in the Faculty of Education. Sister Scholars is her ninth book.

    Sepideh Mahani is the Associate Dean and the Chair of Education Leadership in the Master of Education program at Yorkville University. She holds degrees in Education Leadership (Ph.D. and M.Ed.), Political Science (BA), and Teaching English to Foreign Learners (TEFL). Sepideh has over 15 years of experience teaching at tertiary and K–12 levels in both traditional and online settings, as well as being a consultant to various government agencies. This is her first book.

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