Meet Our New Intern and #Queering Motherhood:

In our ongoing efforts to bring education and practical knowledge together in a place where we can cooperatively learn and grow, MOM is proud to present the work of our newest intern Aster Woods. Aster hails from the Welsh/English border and is interested in museum curatorship, art, caregiving labor, and the notion of #queering motherhood. She contacted us regarding her interest in creating an online body of work around these topics.

The phrase “queering” something has been widely used to deconstruct normative assumptions about individuals and social expectations. By queering something, we are asking people to reconstruct a known definition of something and complexify it, complicate it, and disentangle it from its strict confines. Often motherhood, and the way in which it is performed, is something people are quick to judge and fast to condemn. Some believe that all mothers should only behave in nice, good, and proper ways. But, women who are mothers, are people first, with all their inherent problems, issues, and challenges. When we apply one universal theme to all people we stop seeing them for who they really are, which in turn makes the individual invisible. Below are some excerpts from the book Queering Motherhood, which Aster is reading as she goes through the next several weeks with us looking at this subject.

Essentialism is a sociological theory that reduces a person to their biology, causing unsupported, widely erroneous claims. From the book Queering Motherhood: “Antecedently convinced of biological essentialism, the romanticization of the biological mother-child bond shapes one’s phenomenological experiences of biological motherhood; those experiences then become “proof” of the essentialist hypothesis, making it a difficult hypothesis to dislodge.”P5

i.e. if a person is already convinced of biological motherhood being the only valid form of motherhood, the idealized view of the bond between mother and child forces that person to experience motherhood within that limited parameter (i.e. the biological bond is sacred and mystical) which then “proves” the original hypothesis, making a circular argument that is difficult to break. However, we have, as a society, a wealth of qualitative research and anecdotal evidence that proves that a mother-child bond can be profound to the point of sacredness in fathers and non-biological mothers.

“we may do psychic harm to children who do not live with their biological mothers, causing children who are adopted or raised by another mother to wonder why their real mother failed to exhibit maternal instinct.”P6

5 Reasons Why You Should Never Ask Queer Parents “Where does your baby come from?”

1. It’s invasive! The journey to queer parenting can be difficult, deeply personal and often unique. Respect boundaries.

2. You wouldn’t ask a straight family that. By asking a queer couple, you perpetuate their “othermess.”

3. You imply that their parentage is not valid or real. Their baby is their baby. End of discussion.

4. It’s disrespectful to the baby, too. As they grow older they will develop their own perspectives on their origins, and it should be up to them what they disclose, and to whom.

5. IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! Your life will not be impacted by this knowledge in any way, therefore, you have no right to know. If the parents themselves share with you then that’s their choice. But don’t ever ask!

Obachan’s Garden – A Look At Motherhood In Cinema

“We think back through our mothers if we are women”– Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own.

By Emily Zou

Obachan’s Garden is a 2001 documentary directed by Linda Ohama, made to honor and remember her grandmother. (Obachan means grandmother in Japanese). Despite this simple conceit, the film takes on a wholly different life as the past is revealed and history is questioned. Moreover, the concepts of what a “good mother” is, are questioned, as well as how different cultural expectations of mothering can clash with each other.

The act of creating film centered on mothers and their experience of motherhood itself disrupts how we are used to learning about history– through our fathers and grandfathers. “Male- centered assumptions about history, as well as feminist ambivalence about motherhood, have complicated the enterprise of searching for mothers in history” writes Jodi Vandenberg-Daves in “Teaching Motherhood in History”. The act of remembering through our mothers offers not a new, but hidden perspective from the past.

“Ryosai Kenbo” is a Japanese word meaning “good wife, wise mother”, introduced during the Meiji period (1868-1912). Based on Confucian ideals of filial piety, it reinforces the idea that women could best serve their country by working at home. This was the ideal that Obachan was raised under, Obachan’s Garden explores how Obachan was trained from a young age to become a housewife, learning languages and dancing. Obachan then relocates to Canada as a picture bride, only to reject her husband the moment she sees him. She works for years to repay him for the ticket to Canada.

Motherhood in Canada was rapidly changing in the pre-World War Two era (when Obachan immigrated), with focus on an idea called the “Good Mother”, where mothering became more “professional”. There were more expectations on what a mother should or shouldn’t do, and the act of mothering became much more heavily scrutinized. A study by Western University explored how advertisements and magazines targeted mothers during this time period, “If mothers indulged their children with too much attention, their children would grow up to be dependent and sissified. Mothers who attended too little to their children’s needs and too much to their own, turned into screaming shrews, and their children became neurotic and fearful. If these precautions were not sufficiently intimidating, the articles also held up mothers who did everything so perfectly that they became unbearable prigs”. It is clear, then, that the way to be a mother was, and still is, heavily influenced by the rest of society.

All of this creates a multi-layered backdrop for Obachan as a mother, a complicated one that is explored through the documentary itself. Ohama paints a picture of a family learning more about their matriarch and her history.

Indeed, the documentary explicitly tells the audience the profound themes the film will explore. “How do we learn about things that have happened before us? And what about memories, what people remember? Are these memories always real?” Narrated over dreamy visuals, Ohama explores how our memory is fallible, how the stories that we hear are always one-sided. Through really getting to know her grandmother, the documentary pieces together a complicated past with motherhood.

In her article examining Obachan’s Garden, Sheena Wilson writes that “the telling of mother-stories can be reclaimed as an act of resistance, whether mothers are telling their own stories, or daughters and granddaughters are retracing their matrilineal genealogies”. We need more of these stories to “think through our mothers,” to see our history from their point of view.

Sources:

Fullerton, Romayne, and M.J. Patterson. “Procrustean Motherhood.” FIMS Publications, 2010.

Larsen, Robert. “Ryousai Kenbo Revisited.” Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, vol. 24, no. 2, 2001.

Wilson, Sheena. “Obachan’s Garden.” Demeter Press, 2016.

Read about Emily’s Remote Internship with MOM: Reviewing Motherhood in Cinema [CLICK]

 

Motherhood in Cinema

By Emily Zou

“Motherhood studies as an area of scholarship is on precarious ground”, Samira Kawash warns in her article New Directions in Motherhood Studies. Advocacy for mothers and the study of feminism are inextricably linked, yet the study of motherhood has been largely neglected by the feminist movement. There are numerous reasons for this (which Kawash elaborates in her article), including the desire to remain separate from conservative “family values” and changing feminist theory. It will take years and a lot of work for this field to be more broadly recognized.

So this is that: the years and the work.

Through the next few weeks, I hope to understand and discuss films through a lens of motherhood studies, or as museum founder and scholar Martha Joy Rose elaborates “Mother Studies” citing motherhood as an institution, mothering as an act, and mothers as the persons at the center of this discourse. But, before we begin, I would like to explain why I feel studying both cinema and mothers is important.

There are three main reasons as to why film is worth thinking and writing about. The first is the most obvious: cinema has an audience, and the messages portrayed onscreen have real life impacts. Franklin Fearing wrote in 1947 that “motion pictures achieve their effects because they help the individual to cognize [their] world.” This still holds true today; anyone who has seen a film knows that it is not a passive experience, it is an interaction. Cinema allows us to peek into worlds that we could never imagineThey also can change our minds; a 2015 study from the University of Dayton found that 25% of participants changed their stance on the government after watching Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. The ideas expressed in movies are of consequence– they shape how we see the world. This is why so many people campaign for diversity onscreen and fight for more female directors. Accuracy in visibility is key to the millions of people who come in contact with these ideas.

So, studying fictional mothers is important because of what they mean to their audience. Of the influence of the portrayal of mothers in cinema, Asma Sayed writes in “Intersection Interventions in Global Cinema”:  “–are these mothers good? How quickly are they able to reclaim their pre-baby bodies? How do they balance work and mothering? Such questions are a reflection of societies in which, historically, a woman’s primary role has largely been defined by her ability to bear and rear children.” The representation of the maternal figure on screen both reinforces and is produced by societal values.

But motherhood, mothers, and their portrayal onscreen reveal much more about society. Like how Sherlock tells us that oceans can be deduced from a drop of water, a singular film can provide insight into the context of the world that made it. Why it was created, how it was created, how people responded to it, and all of its intentional and unintentional effects can be profound and impactful. Jennifer Wingard’s article “(Re)Producing Globalization: The Labouring Body in Maria Full of Grace links how capitalism and imperialism affects the bodies of mothers in the film Maria Full of Grace. Sayed aptly summarizes Wingard’s article: “It is important to follow the movement of Maria’s body not only to understand how women’s bodies affect and are defined by the contradictory flows of global capital, labour, and migration but also to see the limited range of choices available to women navigating within this system. Wingard points out how women’s labour is not recognized as part of economic production, even though it is essential to sustaining the global economy.” fictional mothers may not always be explicitly metaphors for any socio-cultural commentary, but the idea of the maternal and how it relates to those issues are still expressed through them.

Intersectionality is essential to creating an inclusive environment to learn about motherhood, which varies across race, class, and culture. Family dynamics are constantly changing across the world. Samira Kawash remarks that “…we need to broaden our awareness and understanding of the diverse positions and meanings of motherhood. Feminist scholarship on motherhood in the past decade has focused attention on the various ways in which mothers cannot or will not submit to the (white, middle-class, heterosexual) norms of good mothering.” So, not only can mother characters reveal infinitudes about the world, but we must expand our study of mothers of all kinds, from all around the world.

My last and most romantic reason is that the appreciation of art is what makes this life meaningful. There’s this quote that I love by Donna Tartt: “Beauty alters the grain of reality.” She was describing paintings, but this idea applies to all forms of the sublime that we are lucky to experience on Earth. The cinematic experience is a wonderful one, and I am  excited to reinterpret them over the course of the next months.

As a final note, I would like to bring up the idea Kawash concludes her article with, that “feminism cannot possibly hope to remain relevant without acknowledging motherhood in all its contradictions and complexities.” It is only through understanding mothers and the way we treat them that we can hope to advocate for gender equality without leaving our mothers behind. We must embrace the many forms that mothering can take in order to uplift and honor the legacy of the generations of mothers that have largely gone forgotten and misrepresented.

*side note: In Kawash’s article, she writes “One positive development is a new Museum of Motherhood, “a real and virtual social change museum focused on amplifying the voices and experiences of mothers while connecting ‘the cultural family,’… there is also an opportunity, not only in the Museum of Motherhood but in the broader field of popular and academic investment that the museum seeks to make visible.”

MAMA: Issue 42 BLM, COVID, Afrooist, and A Body Other Than My Own

Sunshine Negyesi alias Afrooist
“This is a time of grieving but also a time of great change. Covid and the emergence of the BLM movement, served as a reminder that anything is possible. Never in a million years could we have predicted such unprecedented change. So as I watch the old structures crumble I am  reminded this is a period of infinite possibilities. The question now, is what world, what legacy, what vision I would I like to plant for the next generation.”

MAMA ISSUE 42 BLM

The most recent work of London based artist Afrooist, is a candid investigation into generational trauma. Her work reflects a personal journey of inquiry into her own family history, addressing the traumas which were entangled with the legacy of Colonialism .

Her work is fragmentary, working from big things which are edited down through various processes. These fragments relate to a bigger unseen picture, a remnant of something which has happened. Her art is the product of a performance where the unseen act of making is testified by her pieces.

She works across different media, ranging from live performances, painting and sculpture- using the poetry of hammering, beating, pulling, teasing and breaking, to express how her life has been lived and soaked in contrast. Her earlier works try to understand her black identity as it has been interpreted by society embracing the conflict revealed within the final pieces reflect the beautiful ugly of existence, that which is both attractive and repulsive, disquieting and squeamish, setting the viewer in an entanglement of something mucky, gritty yet sublime.

More about Afrooist
Born in London 1983 , Afrooist was raised in a biracial family in Tooting, South London. Her mother is Filipino and father from Guyana . She studied classical studies at Warwick University ( 2005 ) and trained as an early years teacher at Greenwich University ( 2016 ). Artist and singer, she began as a self taught painter, and developed the ability to deconstruct and reflect on her practice whilst studying Fine arts at City Lit London (2018). During the Summer of 2019 Afrooist made her debut solo exhibition at The Ritzy Brixton which included a live art performance ritual framed around a character she named Black Persephone in musical collaboration with Tanc Newbury and Siemy Di.  A mother of 2 children, she strives to be the change she wants to see in the world. She is Co-founder with Dirish Shaktidas of a project called Futureseeds and is currently residing in South West London.

MAMA Essay: A Body Other Than My Own

by Wendy Carolina Franco, PhD

(She Her Hers)

*This essay talks about the video of the murder of George Floyd.

When the day’s headlines about Covid-19’s devastating impact on the Black community were replaced with images of Black youth screaming next to burning cars, I reacted with fear. I was in full support of the protests but scared for the protestors. My 13-year-old twin sons felt that watching the video of George Floyd’s death was necessary for me to understand the rage in the streets. P said, “If you don’t see how he was killed, you are being a coward.” I replied that decades of seeing black people suffer changed nothing and only normalized seeing black bodies being abused. They chewed on that for a minute. My teenagers have plenty of complaints about me, but they respect my opinions on social and political issues. 

I am a Dominican woman with a history of serial migration, meaning that my mother immigrated first, we reunited when I was twelve, and one year later, she was imprisoned for eight years for a drug-related crime a white person would have barely done time for and was later deported. I grew up alone in New York City, dropped out of school. I eventually earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Now I specialize in trauma, counseling mostly minoritized people. 

“Look,” I told the boys, “watching someone being murdered can be traumatizing to the viewer, and for young people of color, like you, it is particularly harmful to witness racially motivated violence.” Such videos reduce a person’s life to the day they were murdered, I argued. I suggested they focus instead on studying the origins of systemic racism, and—this part is really painful as a mother–on learning how to behave to stay safe. P and F told me they had seen many people of color die, and that their bubble of racially diverse kids had also seen all the viral videos. F said: “I don’t know if it’s good or bad for me to watch these videos, but this is the worst one I have ever seen.”

Still trying to protect my mental health, I asked them to describe it to me. I don’t know about all twins, but my boys talk at the same time and always contradict each other–it’s infuriating. This time, there were zero contradictions. P noted that the police and Mr. Floyd looked so calm that he thought it was fake, then he suddenly got scared for George Floyd. F spoke of moments he thought someone was going to intervene but were stopped.  They both described a slow realization that no one was going to help. The killer stayed on top of Mr. Floyd long after his body had gone limp. P concluded that if the officer had just gotten up, Mr. Floyd would have lived. 

My face awash in tears, I had a knot in my throat. Avoiding the specifics had been a way of distancing myself from George Floyd’s murder. I still think that watching black people die is traumatizing for Black people and desensitizes non-Black people to their suffering. But the reality is that children are watching. 

After my sons brought Mr. Floyd’s death to life, I looked for photos of him. A beautiful vibrant

trio in a park summer outing came up. Wow, he was so tall and serious. He looked like a guy who kept his word. That little girl in his arms must have felt like God himself was carrying her. There was enough arm and chest for her to kick back and watch the world from up high. His partner was beaming, enjoying the circle they had created. It looked like a magnetic field, impenetrable and safe.

I decided to watch the video, once. 

From watching the video of George Floyd’s death I learned that he was a survivor. Even in the most frightening and compromised state, Mr. Floyd had the wherewithal to control the instincts we all have. He did not fight, or attempt to run, or freeze. These responses to danger come from the most ancient parts of our brain. He mustered the focus to try to de-escalate the situation by reminding the man intent on taking his life that they are both human. 

George Floyd said he was in pain, that he couldn’t breathe, communicating that he is human and like all of us will die without oxygen. He tried to calm the officers’ fears. He said he would comply with orders. He tried to adjust his body. He called out “Momma.” This dying man claimed his personhood by calling for his mother. He had profound attachments and a mother who loved him, and there is nothing more human than that. I don’t need to know how Mr. Floyd lived his life. The video of his murder showed his fighting spirit, his focus on surviving for his family, his humility, his dignity. He did not give up, but clearly understood what he was up against.

F knows what it’s like to not be able to breathe. He had pneumonia when he was eleven years old, and a young white doctor refused to take his complaints of difficulty breathing seriously. She said his lungs were clear and sent us home twice. I called my dentist, an old school Peruvian MD, who said, “GET OFF THE PHONE AND CALL 911.” My son was too weak to walk. He was rushed to the ICU where he remained for a whole week. They told me that he would have been dead in one day.  

For the local protest, F made a sign that said, “I CAN’T BREATHE.”  I was flooded with sadness. He was not copying the rallying cry this sentence has become, he does not know how Eric Garner died, and he was not thinking of the countless COVID-19 patients who suffocated to death, or of the air pollution our way of living creates. As much as he understands, he has no idea.

The pain of Black people only seems to bring about more pain. The Brooklyn protests we went to were completely peaceful and about 50% white, but Black and Brown protesters risk a lot more. They will be arrested and penalized more harshly than their white counterparts. Protesting also poses uneven health risks. Clueless celebrities and people who do not understand systemic racism claimed the coronavirus would be the ‘great equalizer’; instead we learned that racial privilege extends to levels of exposure to the virus and the body’s ability to fight the illness. The data on mortality shows that Black people die at three times the rate of white peers. Why do we accept so much black death?

Being the target of injustice creates a double bind, or a lose/lose situation. If you do nothing,

you suffer psychologically and emotionally, and if you fight back you risk further harm. Yet, I have to be hopeful. I see solidarity for Black people and a focus on action. I too come from pain. I can relate with feeling invisible, unimportant, and forgotten. But I will never know what is like to live in a body other than my own.

We naively think that our shared humanity is enough to experience empathy, but it isn’t, because of antiblack racism. We live in a society that assigns value to people’s lives depending on their identity. In this case, we have seen the repeated dehumanization and abuse of Black bodies, and for generations, we have labored to rationalize a world wherein skin color, gender and sexual identity, religion, place of birth and physical ability are risk factors for suffering and death. The human brain will distort reality to protect us from the idea that bad things happen to good people. As an example, victims of abuse, even in the most extreme cases, find ways to blame themselves. On a psychological level, having provoked the abuse preferable to the idea that something out of your control, like your body, can make you a target of violence. We make sense of systemic oppression by blaming the victims.

To undo lifetimes of mind-bending justifications of a racist system, we need action. Laws force people to adjust their belief systems. But we can go further and explore the barriers that keep us from seeing ourselves and our loved ones in the faces of Black victims of racist violence. Those barriers are constructs like “us and them or good and bad,” that keep us focused on our own suffering and desensitize us to the pain of others.

The Museum of Motherhood, the ProCreate Project, the Mom Egg Review, and the Mother Magazine are pleased to announce the launch of a monthly international exchange of ideas and art. M.A.M.A. will celebrate the notion of being “pregnant with ideas” in new ways. This scholarly discourse intersects with the artistic to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the creative, the academic, the para-academic, the digital, and the real, as well as the everyday: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. Download the Press Release here or read about updated initiatives#JoinMAMA @ProcreateProj  @MOMmuseum @TheMomEgg

Stay At Home – MAM, a New Art Magazine Focused on the Maternal

MAM Press Release

MAM is a new art magazine focusing on artists from around the world producing work about the maternal.

The first issue, “Stay At Home”, due out in June 2020 is a response by 20 artists to their experiences of working at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The magazine aims to support artists through this challenging time as well as raising money for Women’s Aid*.

“Stay At Home” has been edited by Helen Sargeant, an artist and academic based in Todmorden, Yorkshire, UK.

Contributions include paintings by Shani Rhys James and Jessica Timmis, collage work by Lauren McLaughlin, an interview with Paula Chambers who makes installations and sculptures about disrupted domesticity, a series of self-portraits, “PRONIA” by performance artist Nicola Hunter, “Knitted Houses of Crime” by Freddie Robins and exquisite paper-cuttings of matriarchs by Pippa Dyrlaga.

“Stay At Home” is a response to the pandemic, the interruption, and anxiety that each day we are all having to live with. MAM was born initially as a way to distract me from looking too often at the news and becoming depressed, a way to be creative, collaborate, communicate and engage with other artists and mothers during this crisis. MAM’s wish is that this first issue of the magazine will provide its readers with a small moment of joy during this international crisis. MAM: Stay At Home, has been produced at the kitchen table in-between the on-going drama of daily family life, the caring and coaxing of children to do their schoolwork, the cuddling of cats, cooking, clearing up and feeding the washing machine with yet more laundry.”

MAM Editor – Helen Sargeant

* We have chosen to support Women’s Aid as domestic violence has risen by 50 percent in the UK since the lockdown began.

www.maternalart.com ( to be launched June 27, 2020)

instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/maternalart/
facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/maternalarthome

Helen Sargeant editor of Maternal Art Magazine introduces the art work of Rachel Fallon

Rachel Fallon – The MotherHood 2015

I first encountered Rachel Fallon’s work through the Desperate Art Wives Collective. I was immediately drawn to her works about female identity, confinement and the domestic such as Built in Kitchen 2012, which holds such resonance now during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rachel is a dear friend of mine and we have been lucky enough to have worked together on many art projects such as The Egg The Womb, The Head and The Moon (2013-2014), Project Afterbirth (2015), Artist As Mother As Artist (2016) and MAM: Stay At Home (2020).

At first, I exchanged slug mail with Rachel, which included drawings and stories of our lives before we became mothers. I was enthralled by the letters that I received and of Rachels accounts of working for a traveling circus across Europe and then living as an artist in Berlin.

It is however her intelligent, personal, political, and thought-provoking art work that continues to act as a catalyst for our communications.

About

Rachel Fallon is a visual artist who deals with themes of protection and defense in domestic realms and addresses the topic of motherhood and womens’ relationships to society. More recently her work has begun to focus on reverse parenting, examining the correlation of roles and duties in elder and parental care and the complex landscapes of mothering.

Built-in-kitchen 2012

Her work encompasses sculpture, drawing, photography and performance and is firmly rooted in processes of making. As well as an individual practice, she is known for her collaborations with Irish and international artists and collectives; including Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, Desperate Artwives, Grrrl Zine Fair and The Tellurometer Project.

La Befana – performance- 2016

The two disparate ways of working feed into one another and are therefore equally important parts of her practice. She is a founding member of pff Publications – a feminist zine and Outpost Studios an independent artist-led studio. Her work is held in public and private collections including the Collection of the Arts Council of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland, the Wellcome Collection, U.K.and Goldsmiths Womens’Art Library, U.K.

Selected Images:

  1. Aprons of Power Performance – ACREA – Repeal 2018 (Homepage, featured image and below)
  2. The MotherHood 2015
  3. Built-in-kitchen 2012
  4. La Befana – performance 2016
Rachel Fallon and MAM with Helen Sargent

Interview Opportunity/Play About Birth & CFP JourMS

Lillian Isabella

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY:

Lillian Isabella is an award-winning documentary theatre maker. She’s looking to interview at least 100 different people with all different kinds of pregnancy and birth stories throughout the Summer of 2020.

If you have been pregnant, are pregnant, or have given birth (of all ages), as well as the people who support pregnancy including doulas, doctors, midwives, acupuncturists (who help pregnant women), she’d love to speak with you for a new documentary play she’s developing!

The narrative of the play will be formed by the people she talks to and she’d like to get a wide snapshot of the state of pregnancy and birth in the United States and how it compares to abroad.

Her first documentary play was commissioned by the Metropolitan Playhouse and was about the legendary Jonas Mekas. Her second docu play, How We Love/F*ck, celebrated female sexuality and had its world premiere at Cherry Lane Theatre.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in speaking with Lillian, please send her an email at Lillian@LillianIsabella.com. More about Lillian, here: www.lillianisabella.com.

CFP JourMS

CRAFTING COVID: Embodying Disobedience, Calls to Action & Motherhood at the End of the World /Submissions through June 30, 2020

How have our lives changed in 2020? How are they the same? Is feminism taking a back seat as mothers turn to homeschooling, as salaries fade, hardship and isolation fray nerves, and as illness coupled with civil disobedience take shape on the streets?

Let these writings serve as a site of resistance as we practice the ongoing labor of birthing, art-making, scholarship, caregiving, salary-making, and survival in the time of COVID. Let us offer hope, support, and empowerment through knowledge, education, and shared experiences.

This special edition of the Journal of Mother Studies seeks to elucidate the experiences of families from an interdisciplinary perspective.

We have already received multiple submissions on a variety of topics from those conducting research, making home-site projects, working in hospital or alternative birth settings, as well as auto-ethnographic perspectives. Submissions are open on a rolling basis to all, through the month of June 2020.

JourMS submissions are peer-reviewed and the journal is published annually on September 1 each year online.

The Editorial Collective of the Journal of Mother Studies invites submissions of scholarly articles and essays from the Interdisciplinary Humanities as defined by the arts, history, culture, the social sciences, women’s and gender studies, literary studies, anthropology, the folkloric, psychology, the digital humanities, and media studies. We encourage dialogue between varying fields and welcome feminist critiques of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, technology, media, public health, and nation. The Journal also features book reviews about newly penned and forthcoming works.

Please submit abstracts electronically. We will then contact you and ask you to submit a full MS Word attachments article via e-mail: JourMS@gmail.com 

  1. All work should be double-spaced, with 1-inch margins, in 12-point Times font
  2. Scholarly essays should be 5-18 pages double-spaced. Reviews should be approximately 500 words (we are flexible).
  3. JourMS is interdisciplinary, therefore, writers can follow either APA or MLA format (depending on your discipline). Double-space all text, on 8 1/2 X 11-inch paper, using Times New Roman. American spelling.
  4. All manuscripts must be submitted with a cover document:
  5. Include a page with author’s name, address, email, phone number, brief bio, affiliation, & recent publications
  6. A 250-word abstract
  7. You are welcome to submit original art, or photographic images along with your manuscript; please ensure that you have (or will) proper permissions. Additionally, we will accept alternative formats such as PowerPoint, video, audio, and visual presentations.
  8. We will send you an acknowledgment of receipt once your submission is processed. The Editorial Board reviews all submissions before sending them out for external, anonymous peer review.  We may provide reader comments, and ask you to revise and resubmit your work.
  9. Please submit a final manuscript in Word Document to JourMS@gmail.com
  10. Seeking additional editorial board members as well for this year’s edition

Please circulate widely! PDF is here for sharing: JourMS_CFP_2020