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Pamela Haag

Essayist

Pamela Haag’s work spans a wide, and unusual, spectrum, all the way from academic scholarship to memoir. Thematically, it has consistently focused on women's issues, feminism, and American culture, but she’s also written on topics as eclectic as the effort to rebuild the lower Manhattan subway lines after 9/11, 24-hour sports radio talk shows, and the experience of class mobility.

Haag earned a Ph.D. in history from Yale University in 1995, after graduating with Highest Honors from Swarthmore College. She’s held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and post-doctoral fellowships at both Brown and Rutgers University. As an academic she published scholarly articles and a first book, based on dissertation work, with Cornell University Press in 1999.

She became the Director of Research for the AAUW Educational Foundation, a nationalnonprofit based in Washington, DC, that advocates for girls and women. In that capacity she wrote and edited several pieces of research and was the media spokesperson for the research.
In 2002, Haag became a speechwriter on issues of public transit and transit-oriented development for the secretary of the Federal Transit Administration and, occasionally, the Secretary of Transportation.

Since 2004, she has been publishing personal and opinion essays in a variety of venues, including National Public Radio, the American Scholar, the Christian Science Monitor, Ms. magazine, the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Michigan Quarterly Review, New Haven Review, the Antioch Review and carte blanche. Haag earned an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College in 2008, where she won the Chris White award for best essay, and was also a prizewinner in the Atlantic’s 2008 national nonfiction contest.

Haag's latest book, Marriage Confidential: The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses, and Rebel Couples Who Are Rewriting the Rules, released by HarperCollins in May of 2011, draws on all of these strands of Haag’s unique professional biography to create almost a new genre, a weave of academic expertise, cultural history, creativenonfiction, memoir, storytelling, interviews, and commentary.

Feminism for the Other 99%

Like the rest of the country, feminism has undergone one percent-ification.  The most discussed books on women’s lives speak to privileged women while usually assuming, if only by default, to […]

A Metastatic World

I want to think about garbage today. Driving home from the store, I made an informal census of the garbage by the side of the road and in the green […]

What’s the Matter with Middle School?

Answer: Hormones. That’s true, but not the whole predicament. Middle school has issues. The problem is often folded into a larger, if illusory, “problem” of the U.S. public school system […]

The Tier-Ing of College, and the Damage Done

“If you want to go to a top-tier school…;” It’s a “lower-tier school, but good…” In conversations about college, you often hear rankings-focused comments. It’s difficult to remember the time […]

I’m Sick of Ideology—Even My Own

Francis Fukuyama famously wrote in a 1992 book that we’d reached “The End of History.” He meant that the major ideological conflict of the 20th century, between Communism and democracy, […]

The Industrial Hangover in Education

I could also title this column, Middle School: The Everlasting Black Hole of Education. I’m not an education expert, only a parent, but the trouble with middle school is easily […]

Where’s the Left of Me?

Why are all the radicals on the right today? My argument is that we have two problems in Washington: One is hyperpartisanship, as a Washington Post article details. Because of […]

The Flight from Attachment

One article talks about the declining rates of procreation. Another contemplates job mobility. When I pull the fragments together into one tableau I’m left with the question: How it attachment […]

Serial Killer is the New Cowboy

Looking over the summer blockbuster movies I see that “The Lone Ranger” flopped. The western, that iconic American genre, seems to be on the wane.  Post-modern treatments, or westerns with […]

Is Abortion the Most Futile Policy Debate Ever?

Is abortion the most futile policy debate ever? Sometimes I wish the entire country would enter collective, premature menopause just to end it, already. The anti-abortion initiatives and state laws […]

Fame, Infamy, and Celebrity

The first two words that came to my mind about the Rolling Stone cover of The Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were “craven” and “disingenuous,” but they were followed by other words. […]