Liddy Detar was born in Hanover, New Hampshire in 1969, and went on to live in many locations with her family, including a sailboat in the Caribbean. She grew up in an interracial family and her mother was active in the civil rights movements.
Detar began her undergraduate studies at Barnard College, where she also worked for PEN international, supporting literature and intellectual cooperation among writers globally. She also worked for the National Book Awards before graduating and moving on to the University of California, Santa Cruz. While there, she pursued a PhD in Feminist Literature Studies and Women’s Studies, and assisted with a local program for pregnant and parenting teens.
Upon coming to OSU in 2012, Detar was part of a team tasked with creating a women’s studies PhD program. She continues today as a teacher and academic advisor for the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Oregon State.