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  • Series: Jepson Studies in Leadership series x
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Caroline McCracken-Flesher

In the third chapter, McCracken-Flesher examines the reception and afterlife of the persona and works of the iconic Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. In addition to helping to shape the romantic novel genre, Scott was deeply enmeshed in Scottish national life and history. Through his work—both artistic and scholarly—Scott became what McCracken-Flesher calls a “transcendent authority” of Scottish history and identity at once engaged with and deliberately removed from the social and religious conflicts of his time.

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Jennifer L. Airey

Chapter 4 presents the argument that Mary Shelley—author of Frankenstein—was skeptical about an author’s ability to engage in leadership in spite of her own iconic status. In Mathilda, written just after Shelley published Frankenstein, Shelley presents literature as both dangerous and banal, simultaneously able to corrupt and unable to effect change. The chapter suggests that Shelley deliberately inverts the traditional paradigm that women are more subject to authorial influence than men, suggesting that the male reader is susceptible to literature’s moral sway in a way that the female reader is not. By extension, the male author claims a position of literary authority from which the female author is entirely excluded, bespeaking the irrelevance of Romantic philosophy to the lived female experience.

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W. Clark Gilpin

The fifth chapter addresses a figure of cultural leadership who was largely isolated from her own culture, but whose work has come to reshape the face of American poetry: Emily Dickinson. Clark Gilpin argues that Dickinson’s poetry, known for its unconventional spelling, punctuation and style, was a direct response to the formative chaos of the American Civil War. Through her radical style, Dickinson demarcates the before-and-after of American identity relative to the Civil War and initiates a new American cultural period.

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Joseph Wiesenfarth

The second chapter focuses on the youthful works—the juvenilia—of Jane Austen, iconic novelist of society and manners in the long eighteenth century. It suggests that the young Austen’s literary work contains a radically critical attitude toward the prescriptiveness of her era. Austen’s Juvenilia contain extreme behaviors and suggestions, including murder, heresy, fraud and drunken debauchery. The chapter argues that this radical early content paves the way for Austen’s later novels and illustrates her unchanging penchant for rejecting a society she believed to be fundamentally irrational.

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Carrie Pitzulo

In postwar America, sexual rebellion, change, and progress are associated with the late 1960s and the 1970s. But as this chapter demonstrates, the seeds of change were planted in the unlikeliest of places, amid the conservative 1950s. With his wildly popular Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner claimed a position of leadership in the nation’s changing sexual culture. Advocating sympathy and tolerance for homosexuality, as well as women’s reproductive freedom, Hefner used his men’s magazine to advance a more equitable society.

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Sheila Huss and Lucy Dwight

This chapter recounts the century-long struggle to provide reliable and safe birth control methods, initiated by controversial Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger. Specifically, it looks at the progression of Planned Parenthood as it addressed various substantive controversies, including eugenics, birth control access and information, abortion, and fetal tissue sales. The chapter concludes by situating Planned Parenthood leadership and controversies in a contemporary political context.

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James K. Beggan

The Free the Nipple movement is geared toward establishing equality for women in relation to men, with regard to their right to go topless in public. A further, and perhaps more significant, goal is to use the issue of toplessness to address other areas that may be problematic for women, such as animosity toward women breastfeeding in public places, body shaming, sexual violence, and unrealistic standards of female beauty. The chapter uses an ethnomethodological perspective to frame female toplessness as a breaching event, and uses autoethnographic methods to understand the movement as manifested in two public marches that took place in Louisville, Kentucky. Leadership processes, as well as the role of men in the Free the Nipple movement, are examined.

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Jeremy Fyke, Bree Trisler and Kristen Lucas

On November 4, 2011, news of what would become known as the “Penn State scandal” broke after a grand jury report was released that documented former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual assault of at least eight young boys. The investigation into these horrific crimes led to the revelation that Penn State leaders actively chose to conceal the abuse for fear of bad publicity. In this chapter, we foreground the intersection of sexuality and leadership in this case. To analyze the failed communication within this case, we provide a focal narrative reconstructed from grand jury testimony and the Freeh Report. We demonstrate how the topic of sexuality—along with its taboos in workplaces generally but especially within locker rooms, in athletics, and among authority figures—led to watered-down and vague conversations, thereby exposing a lack of courage.

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Charol Shakeshaft

This chapter explores why leaders who encounter educator sexual misconduct fail to act. Up to 10 percent of students report being the sexual target of an educator at least once during their school career. This chapter explores three scenarios explaining why the prevention of educator sexual misconduct has not been the focus of school leaders, using evidence presented in civil cases where a student has been sexually abused by an employee. Among the data points included are school district policies, training materials and requirements, hiring policies and practices, personnel files, student files, medical/mental health files, environmental scans of the school buildings, and police records from the criminal prosecution of the employee abuser. In addition, depositions of victims, school administrators and other personnel, victim families, and the abuser act as interview transcripts and, as sworn testimony, are as close to that person’s “truth” as is likely to be available.

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Shaun Pichler

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) employees represent a relatively large minority group and a significant proportion of the workforce, yet are understudied in mainstream management and organization research relative to other minority groups. Moreover, LGB employees report experiencing extensive discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and there is no comprehensive federal legislation prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination, i.e., heterosexism. In the current chapter, the literatures on heterosexism and LGB-supportive workplace policies are integrated with theory and research on transformational and heroic leadership. The overarching propositions developed from this chapter are that transformational and heroic leadership are directly and indirectly related to heterosexism through the successful implementation of LGB-supportive policies.