Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jacqueline Taylor  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1985 in New York

-- Jacqueline Taylor on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Taylor lived in Chicago from 2005 - 2013 while serving a year as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow with a placement at Kent State University and while working at DePaul University.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jacqueline Taylor had more than 30 years of experiences as both an academic and an administrator at DePaul University in Chicago. While there, she was the Director of the DePaul University Humanities Center, the Associate VP Academic Affairs and went on to be the Founding Dean of the College of Communication. She also taught in the areas of performance studies, women's studies and gender and communication. Her essays have been published in Text and Performance Quarterly, Southern Speech Communication Journal, and Women's Studies in Communication. Taylor grew up in Kentucky, where she received her BA in English and Communication Arts from Georgetown College. She earned both her MA and PhD in Performance Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently the Provost and VP for Academic Affairs at The College of New Jersey.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Grace Paley: Illuminating Dark Lives
ISBN: 0292790554

University of Texas Press. 1990

Grace Paley is a "writer's writer," admired by both scholars and the reading public for her originality and unique voice. In this first book-length study of her work, Jacqueline Taylor explores the source of Paley's originality, locating it in the way Paley transforms language to create strongly woman-centered stories.

Drawing on interviews with the author, as well as the stories themselves, Taylor emphasizes Paley's awareness that women's voices have been muted and their stories ignored or left untold in our culture's male-oriented dominant discourse. She watches Paley in the process of reshaping language at both the semantic and narrative levels to make it express women's perceptions and experiences. In Paley's stories, it becomes possible to ignore traditional heroic and dramatic themes and instead talk about women and children in such everyday settings as the playground, the kitchen, and the grocery store.

Some of the specific techniques Paley uses to accomplish this include identifying and repudiating sexist language in the dominant discourse and redefining ordinary words from the perspective of women. At the narrative level, Taylor reveals how she draws on women's oral traditions to tell open-ended stories that resist rigid beginning-middle-and-end structuring.

This transformed language enables Paley to construct a social world where woman-centered meanings can flourish. In her nontraditional stories, no single narrator or version of events dominates. Anyone can be a storyteller and no one has the last word.

Waiting for the Call: From Preacher's Daughter to Lesbian Mom
ISBN: 0472032380

University of Michigan Press. 2007

“Well-written, absorbing, and a great pleasure to read . . . will appeal to Christians struggling to square their traditional beliefs with acceptance of homosexuality as well as to all those interested in adoption, lesbian marriage, and the changing shape of America’s families.”

―Elizabeth C. Fine, Virginia Tech University

Waiting for the Call takes readers from the foothills of the Appalachians―where Jacqueline Taylor was brought up in a strict evangelical household―to contemporary Chicago, where she and her lesbian partner are raising a family. In a voice by turns comic and loving, Taylor recounts the amazing journey that took her in profoundly different directions from those she or her parents could have ever envisioned.

Taylor’s father was a Southern Baptist preacher, and she struggled to deal with his strictures as well as her mother’s manic-depressive episodes. After leaving for college, Taylor finds herself questioning her faith and identity, questions that continue to mount when―after two divorces, a doctoral degree, and her first kiss with a woman―she discovers her own lesbianism and begins a most untraditional family that grows to include two adopted children from Peru.

Even as she celebrates and cherishes this new family, Taylor insists on the possibility of maintaining a loving connection to her religious roots. While she and her partner search for the best way to explain adoption to their children and answer the inevitable question, “Which one is your mom?” they also seek out a church that will unite their love of family and their faith. Told in the great storytelling tradition of the American South, full of deep feeling and wry humor, Waiting for the Call engagingly demonstrates how one woman bridged the gulf between faith and sexual identity without abandoning her principles.

Speaking Engagements

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