CALL FOR PAPERS: Annual MoM Conference 2023 & Demeter Press Announcements

REPRODUCTIVE LANDSCAPES- Undoing m/otherhood; who has the right to talk about motherhood, who claims that status, and how do we create words, art, and scholarship moving forward?

St. Petersburg, Florida & Online / March 24-26, 2023 / Museum of Motherhood

Deadline for Abstracts Nov 30, 2022

Calling all scholars, sociologists, maternal psychologists, philosophers, anthropologists, women’s, sexuality, and gender professors, masculinity studies experts, birth-workers, doctors, motherhood and fatherhood researchers, artists, students, and performers: This conference call is for papers, performances, conversations, and art, focused on new gender identities and discourse. Included in this call is an invitation to explore political policy positions relative to Roe vs. Wade, psychological manifestations of maternal neonaticide, infanticide, and filicide, well as the naming and rewriting of works, art, and scholarship around mothers, mothering, and motherhood. How do we approach this? Who gets to say what? How do we make visible these topics in mainstream articulations? How are those with (dis)abilities and other marginalized positionalities heard and made visible? In what ways does inclusivity threaten the status quo? How can we complicate binary viewpoints and assertions situated in a fear-based cultural reality? We rely on previous scholarship, now framed within the context of changing times. What now will we make of ourselves together and separately? We are, after all, the future!

We encourage presenters to unpack the sociocultural domain and the medicalized environment within which these debates are often situated as we embrace and analyze meaning-making, in the area of maternal health, identity, experience, and well-being. What is good for whom and how does that impact everyone else?

We intend the conference to serve as a site of resistance as we deconstruct, reframe, and affirm the complex landscape of embodied mother-work, pregnancy, birth, identity, care-work, and the ongoing labor and experience of those within family systems everywhere. We recognize the scale, variance, and duration of these passionate debates and hope to support and empower those who need support the most.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

Intersectional identities

Normative constructions of gender in motherwork, pregnancy and birthing

Biomedical and cultural discourses of motherwork, pregnancy, and birth, including issues related to marginalized identities, fertility treatment, gender identity, and intersex identities

Motherwork, pregnancy and birthing with (dis-)abilities, illness, and children with special needs

Child and maternal psychology interventions, alternative therapies, and results

Breastfeeding ambivalence, obstacles, and outcomes

Future wombs, including transplants, artificial constructions, cloning, and surrogacy

Art as healing and activism as visible resistance

Embodied resistance to socially constructed prescriptions and conventions about motherwork, pregnancy, and birth, including as they are contextualized within marginalized positionalities

CONFERENCE: The Annual Academic MoM Conference is in person and online in 2023. We welcome individuals and roundtables conducting research, making art, working in therapudic, medical, university, and birth settings, as well as auto-ethnograpic perspectives by mothers, family members & students.

JOURNAL OF MOTHER STUDIES (JourMS): All submissions for the 2023 conference should consider submitting to the Journal of Mother Studies, an academic, peer-reviewed, hybrid digital humanities journal devoted to Mother Studies published annually. Works may also be submitted for the conference only.

FOR ALL SUBMISSIONSAbstracts must include a title and bio. Abstracts must be submitted by Nov 30 (midnight). Notifications sent Dec. 15 and early bird registration begins $165. Regular Registration starts Jan 15th $180 and closes Feb 15th. Full submissions for the conference are due March 1st, (after acceptance to the conference). Full submissions for the Journal are due by May 30th (midnight). These include other submission types (e.g. performance, media, music). Go to https://jourms.org/submit/

Download PDF Version CFP


CFP DEMETER PRESS
The Mother Wave: Matricentric Feminism as Theory, Activism, and Practice

Edited by Andrea O’Reilly, Victoria Bailey, and Fiona Joy Green
In Matricentric Feminism: Theory, Activism, Practice (2021) Andrea O’Reilly argues that the
category of mother is distinct from the category of woman and that many of the problems
mothers face—social, economic, political, cultural, psychological, and so forth—are specific to
women’s role and identity as mothers. Indeed, mothers are oppressed under patriarchy as women
and as mothers. For women who are mothers, mothering is a significant, if not a defining
dimension of their lives, and that, arguably, maternity matters more than gender. Consequently,
mothers need a matricentric mode of feminism organized from and for their particular identity
and work as mothers. Indeed, a mother-centred feminism is needed because mothers—arguably
more so than women in general—remain disempowered despite sixty years/six decades of
feminism. Matricentric feminism positions mothers’ needs and concerns as the starting point for
a theory and politic on and for women’s empowerment.

Please send 250 word abstract and 75 word bio by November 1, 2022 to aoreilly@yorku.ca;
f.green@uwinnipeg.ca; vjbailey@gmail.com. Full downloadable CFP

Gone Feral: Unruly Women and the Undoing of Normative Femininity
Edited by Andrea O’Reilly and Casey O’Reilly-Conlin
Published by Demeter Press
The Oxford Dictionary defines the word feral “as being in a wild untamed
state, especially existing in or returning to an untamed state from domestication;
and of, or suggestive of, a wild animal; savage.” A feral creature is one who was
once wild, then domesticated, and who has reverted back to a natural or untamed
state once again. Theorizing the concept of Feral Feminisms, Kelly Struthers
Montford and Chloë Taylor position the feral as “a provocative call to untaming,
queering, and radicalizing feminist thought and practice today.”
This collection probes the concept of ferality in relation to traditional, patriarchal
concepts of womanhood and femininity and asks what does becoming or being
feral mean for women?

Please send 250 word abstract and/ or submission proposals and a 75 word bio to
Andrea O’Reilly aoreilly@yorku.ca by January 15 2023Full downloadable CFP

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is a grassroots organization advocating for leadership, mobilization, and amplification in order to better support efforts “that demand a change of conditions that lead to domestic violence such as patriarchy, privilege, racism, sexism, and classism.”

In America, domestic violence is the leading cause of death for women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth, which is the subject of a recent study and a very sad fact, indeed.

While we might think violence against women is a rare phenomenon, in fact, it permeates the fabric of cultures around the world from America, to Europe, to Afghanistan and Iran, and well beyond. This is a global problem.

At a recent luncheon in St. Petersburg, I heard (“Zi”) Abdul Hasib Azizi speak about his flight to America and the manner in which his family, specifically his mother and sister and continue to suffer under a repressive regime.

Patriarchal social constructions can take all kinds of shapes; both intimate and public, religious and secular. Perhaps domestic violence is the most insidious form of abuse but it is only one of many kinds of dehumanizing and violent actions that threaten women.

Here in St. Petersburg, there are a number of resources national and local that aim to support women victimized by violence. CASA seeks to stand up against silence by focusing on prevention through education and by offering emergency services to those in need. Alpha House helps new and pregnant mothers with housing, education, and supportive services.

The national domestic hotline is: 800-799-7233

*The banner for this blog was taken from one of our Silent No More Workshops, facilitated by Museum of Motherhood founder, Martha Joy Rose

MoM’s Phone Number is 877-711-MOMS (6667). We are a safe space for women, mothers, and families. At MoM, we share our stories and find strength and hope.

Meet the Newest Artist Resident at MoM: Marin Sardy

We are excited to announce our newest Guest Artist in Residence, Marin Sardy! Marin is a critically acclaimed author who is currently working on her second novel.

Headshot of Marin Sardy

Q: What is your connection to m/otherhood as an artist?

A: I love the way this question is phrased, with the word that highlights both “motherhood” and “other-hood.” I’m a writer of memoir, personal essays, and other forms of creative nonfiction, and my connection to both of the above concepts centers on my explorations of mental health, caregiving, and disability justice. As the daughter and sister of two people who struggled with serious, chronic mental illness, I wrote my first memoir, The Edge of Every Day, to examine the ways that I have strived to understand their experiences, worked to help them, and been shaped by loss. My current work is more focused on dismantling the deeply ingrained cultural attitudes that continue to prevent people from seeking and receiving effective, respectful mental health care. I’d like to add too that, while I haven’t written about it, I am also a stepmother. In both of these roles, I am and have been “mother-adjacent” in ways that I believe ought to be honored and valued in the face of the too-narrow box that motherhood has often been confined to.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your residency?

A: I plan to make as much progress as I can on my second book, which folds together stories from the lives of two very different women who lived with long-term psychosis: an art photographer whose work I admire, and my mother. I am currently focused on completing a full draft of the portions that relate to my mother, and my role as a daughter who was pushed into, and later embraced, acting as a caregiver for her. I’m interested in questions such as: What does it mean to be a caregiver in a mental health context, when the work involved is so often intangible? What kind of support might have helped both of us to live our lives more fully and safely? And what does this mean for me, as a daughter who spent so much time mothering a mother who had, in my youth, so dramatically failed to mother me? What (if anything) did my mother owe me, and what was it fair or unfair to ask of her?

Q: What led you to MoM and the residency program here?

A: I discovered Mom when I saw former MoM resident Tracy Sidesinger’s post on Instagram announcing that she had been accepted for the residency! Having never heard of the organization, I did a bit of research and quickly decided to apply myself. I was inspired by the museum’s desire to promote community and to both explore and support motherhood in all its facets. It just felt like it made sense for me to try to connect with the organization. Tracy in fact had been a student in an online nonfiction writing course I taught through Catapult a few years ago, and I’m grateful that I stayed in touch with her through social media—partly because her fascinating, thoughtful Instagram account is so  full of wisdom and depth, and partly because she led me to reach out to MoM. 

Continue reading to find out more about Marin.

Marin Sardy is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir The Edge of Every Day: Sketches of Schizophrenia (2019). Sardy’s essays have appeared in the New YorkerTin House, Guernica, the Paris Review Daily, the Missouri Review, and many other journals, as well as in two award-winning photography books. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Sardy has three times had her work listed as “notable” in the Best American series, and she has been awarded residency fellowships at Hawthornden Castle and Catwalk Institute. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and teaches nonfiction writing for Pace University and Authors Publish.

If you are interested in applying for a guest residency here at MoM, please go to our website HERE: https://bit.ly/3uRgugm  to find out more. BE SURE TO HURRY! Spots have been filling FAST! We hope that future tours of the space will be available soon, but they are by appointment only in Artist Enclave Historic Kenwood: “where art lives.”

Hurricanes and the World Today

Many of us have been shocked by recent world developments in the environment, social climate, and in economics. This week’s hurricane was a brutal reminder of just how devastating and close to home natural disasters can be.

Fortunately, MoM made it out of the storm relatively unscathed, but we still have many concerns for our Florida neighbors as well as those in dire situations across the globe.

In times of great upheaval, in addition to reacting appropriately, many of us also take time to examine our lives, our decisions, and current directions. Should I stay? Should I go? What can I do to make a difference?

Right now, while many within a hundred miles will be digging out of debris, and as we conduct our own onsite cleanup, MoM will persevere with a mission of hosting conversations, gatherings, and forums on what is going right, and what is going wrong, on our planet today.

Our recent residency with sociology fellow Amanda Watson, has been postponed due to the effects of Ian, however we will still hold a roundtable focus group on Wednesday, October 5th 7:30-8:30PM EST, on “children in the face of climate change and reproductive inequity.”

Please join us in our online community Zoom. RSVPs are welcome. In the meantime, please do hold strong. MoM Loves You!