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Leah Middlebrook

Leah Middlebrook photo

Leah Middlebrook

Associate Professor, Comparative Literature, Spanish, University of Oregon
Department Head, Comparative Literature, University of Oregon

Leah Middlebrook feels as if she has been taken back in time each time she enters Carolyn Lewis Attneave House. Some of her earliest childhood memories involve accompanying her mother, Diane Wood Middlebrook, to events and meetings in that building. At the time, it was still called Serra House, and it housed CROW, the Center for Research on Women. CROW was subsequently renamed the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, and today it has grown into the Clayman Institute for Gender Research. The building has been moved, the name has been changed. But the rooms are the same dimensions, and the stairs creak in the same way, so when Leah Middlebrook visits the Clayman Institute, it feels like she has come home, in a very special way. Leah Middlebrook teaches Comparative Literature and Spanish at the University of Oregon. She moved to Oregon after having studied at Columbia University (B.A. 1989) and UC Berkeley (M.A. 1991; Ph.D. 1998). She divides her time between Eugene, Oregon and Portland. She is an avid runner, skier, swimmer, reader, teacher and mentor. Leah is aware that these last two qualities are legacies from her mother. She writes, "Some of my most vivid and happy dreams about my mother show up when I have had a particularly productive or rewarding experience of mentoring a student. I am aware all the time that I am passing along a very particular gift, one that is shared among the women in my family. I am simply delighted to be able to bring that gift back to the Clayman Institute."