Research Radar – Julie Rodgers

Dr. Julie Rodgers is an Associate Professor of French Studies at Maynooth University and a co-founder of The Motherhood Project.

Who is your favourite academic?

Oh my. There are so many incredible women who I could mention here. In terms of academics whose published work I admire and use, I would have to say Elisabeth Badinter, a French writer whose research has contributed so much to the deconstruction of the myth of motherhood. I highly recommend her book The Conflict, first published in France in 2010.

What are you reading for work and/or leisure?

I always have two books on the go – one theory and one novel. In terms of theory, I am currently reading Eliane Glaser’s A Motherhood Manifesto (2021) and as a novel, I am engrossed in an English translation of Kjersti Skomsvold’s The Child (2021). As you can tell, whether I am reading for work or leisure, the common theme is motherhood!

What podcast do you recommend?

I don’t listen to that many podcasts as I find I am not a very auditory person. However, I do like France Inter’s ‘Le masque et la plume’ which helps keep me up-to-date on the French and Francophone literary scene.

What is your favourite archive or library?

I love working in the Ussher library in Trinity College Dublin. Trinity is where I did my undergraduate and doctoral studies, so I always enjoy a trip back to the Alma Mater.

What book or movie changed your life?

There is no hesitation here. Without a doubt, the book that changed my life was Simone de Beauvoir’s Le deuxième sexe (The Second Sex) first published in 1949. It opened my eyes to the position and treatment of women in culture and society and cemented my allegiance to feminism. It’s also where my interest in Motherhood Studies began.

Do you play music while you work? If so, what?

No, never. I can’t listen and work.

What do you know now that you wish you had known at the beginning of your career/degree?

Compile your notes gradually, especially where your bibliography is concerned. Don’t just read and read and read and then hope that somehow you’ll remember where you saw that really interesting quote! You won’t!

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