Biography

I’m an independent scholar, writer, artist, and psychotherapist.  I was born in downtown Los Angeles and grew up in Augsburg, Germany, and Santa Barbara, California.  I went to Austria on a Fulbright scholarship in high school, and spent my junior year in college studying at the Universität Tübingen, and then graduated from Tufts University with a dual major in English and German.  I took a Fulbright Scholarship and lived in Hamburg for the year after college, and then started the Ph.D. program in Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley.   I met my husband there, at an anti-apartheid rally.  We moved to Washington, D.C., where he took a post-doc at the Smithsonian and I got a job working for Congresswoman Lynn Martin.  Under her aegis, I coordinated the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues.  A few years later, I followed my husband to New York City, where I became the Assistant Director of Government Relations at NYU.  I left that job to care for my mother, who was dying from colon cancer in Santa Barbara.   I was pregnant when she died.  My son was born at Vassar College, where his father taught history and I taught Women’s Issues and Urban Studies.  Once again I followed my husband to Arlington, Virginia, where he took another job and I began commuting back and forth from New Brunswick, New Jersey, in order to finish my Ph.D. in English.  The same year that I landed a job as Assistant Professor of English at St. Louis University, I finished my dissertation  (“Married to the Market: Gender and Economics from Milton to Defoe,” 1998) got divorced, and took up yoga, in that order.  I loved my job but hated living so far from my son, so I searched and found a job at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching 18th Century Studies.  I spent ten lonely years there, teaching graduate and undergraduate students feminist theory, gender studies, Shakespeare, Milton, and early 18th-century literature. I drove down to Arlington, where my son lived with his father, as often as I could.  In 2004 and 2005 I had three wonderful opportunities, which I took:  a scholarship to work on my book at the Shakespeare Folger Library in Washington, D.C.;  a teaching position in London for Pitt students; and a Ahmanson-Getty fellowship at the William Andrews Clark Library of 17th and 18th century at UCLA.  After I returned to Pitt the depression I had been battling since my mother died intensified, making it difficult to think clearly.  Then my father died and I was named executor of an incredibly complicated estate that settled only after five acrimonious years.  My depression worsened.  I could not complete my book in time to come up for tenure, so I did not go up.  I took some time to think and spent two months in Kathmandu, Nepal,  with my son, volunteering for orphans recently rescued from slavery or servitude.  I might have stayed there a long time, had my son been healthier.  I felt he needed me to return to the States with him.  I returned to school–in yoga and in social work.  I became certified as a yoga teacher and licensed as a social worker, and went to work at Mercy Behavioral Health, a community mental health clinic that caters to the poorest and sickest people in Pittsburgh.  After more than a year there, I had another opportunity–to live aboard a sailboat and travel through the South Seas.  I spent 9 months traveling through the coastal Southern States and the Bahamas.  I am now living in Pittsburgh, again caring for my son, practicing yoga, creating art, and writing.  I am not depressed because I take my medication and exercise regularly.  Life feels very open-ended just now, precious and rich.   November 2016.

5 thoughts on “Biography

  1. Hi Kimberly, I was trying to remember this Danish film yesterday. You can stream it from Netflix.
    After the Wedding (Efter Brylluppet) by Director Susanne Bier. So nice to have met you.
    To save the failing orphanage he runs in India, Danish transplant Jacob Petersen (Mads Mikkelsen) returns to his homeland to meet a self-indulgent businessman named Jørgen who’s offered a generous donation — and represents everything the noble-minded Jacob abhors. Complicating matters further are the unusual strings Jørgen has attached to his so-called gift. Rolf Lassgård co-stars in this Oscar-nominated emotional powerhouse of a drama.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m very happy to have known you. You are an awesome woman with a deep heart and much caring for the world around you. We need more people like you in this world.

    Love,

    Ryan

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello,

    My name is Domenico Barbieri and I am looking for a lecturer to come and speak at my organization, regarding feminism. I was wondering if you had any suggestions! I am part of an all male organization, and while I was raised, by my mother and grandmother, I feel that a lot of individuals still grow up with a type of misogynistic mindset.

    Thank you,

    Domenico Barbieri

    Like

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