Monday, October 19, 2009

gender and reviewing books

Susan O'Doherty, on's Mama PhD blog, has a post on Gender and Book Reviews. (The issue regards the gender of the author being reviewed rather than the gender of the reviewer.) Given the recent discussion regarding gender and biblioblogging, I wonder if biblical scholars have noted (or ought to have noted) a similar phenomenon. Do we review books written by female and male scholars differently? Do we use different criteria and descriptors when reviewing books written by one gender over against the other?

A quick glance at my CV shows one review of a female author (Sidnie White Crawford's Rewritting Scripture in Second Temple Times [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008]; my review appeared in the Stone-Campbell Journal) and eight reviews of male authors. I have three more reviews in the queue, one of which is edited by two scholars, one female and one male. In addition, I have made comments on this blog on a number of books, most recently a series of comments on Gabriella Gelardini's edited volume on Hebrews (comments here). I'm not suggesting I'm not a part of the phenomenon O'Doherty addresses; I'm simply pointing to the data that would help make that determination.

So what of it? Do you male scholars suspect you or anyone else out there reviews books authored by female scholars differently? Do you female scholars feel your work isn't evaluated in the same terms or against the same standards as your male colleagues? If so, could we agree that this is a significantly more pressing problem than the gender gap among bloggers?

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