This is the author's draft, not the final published version. The publisher is Taylor and Francis and their website is http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/03075079.aspUsing a feminist poststructuralist framework of discursive analysis, this paper explores the ways in which women academics with children are both positioned and positioning within the complex and often contradictory discourses surrounding the “successful academic” and the “good mother”. A biographical approach is taken to explore these discourses within the everyday experiences of Susan, an academic and mother. It is argued that while the intersection of these discourses – which are fluid and in process, rather than fixed and unchanging – creates conflict for mothers, not only within the academy but also in terms of their subjectivities outside of the academy, they can also provide sources of empowerment and potentially a space in which mothers can begin to consider the possibilities for new ways of being within the academy. Implications for the academic community and HEIs are discussed, with a particular focus on the development of a critical literacy
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