Feminist Fissures: Navigating Conflict in Mentoring Relationships

Kathryn Gindlesparger and Holly Ryan

Scholarship in rhetoric and composition has richly addressed the role of feminist mentoring and how a feminist perspective of mentoring might work across various mentoring configurations. However, there is little feminist rhetorical scholarship that discusses the transition from a graduate mentoring group to a faculty mentoring group. This case study examines how one group navigated the change from graduate mentors to faculty mentors, revealing how unarticulated conflict lead to the end of the relationships. In unpacking this narrative, this article argues that feminist mentoring scholarship has not done enough to openly discuss the role of conflict in mentoring. Lacking scholarship to guide the transition of the group, the members instead relied on assumptions about the role of feminist mentoring and what it means to be a feminist mentor. This piece offers ways of embracing conflict in feminist practices.


Keywords: mentoring, faculty, graduate student, feminist mentoring, conflict

Gindlesparger, Kathryn and Holly Ryan. "Feminist Fissures: Navigating Conflict in Mentoring Relationships." Peitho 19.1 (2016): 54-70.