MOM Art Annex: Exhibition & Education Center

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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

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Mothers’ Day 2020 in Virtual Reality

Lately, it seems, there are so few words to describe our current world. Mother earth is in shock even as mothers across America celebrate this holiday made virtual. So many of us cannot spend the day with our adult children due to social distancing while other families are overwhelmed with responsibilities, hunger, homeschooling, exhaustion, health, and a host of issues.

So, what do do?

Sometimes, in the quiet, we find hope for a new day. Here at MOM, our prayers, light, and love shine through even though we too have been largely silent. If you would like to register a mother you love on our Tribute Wall you can do so here at this link (by making a small donation to MOM. Happy Mothers’ Day and please do stay safe, healthy, and blessed!

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Joy Rose and Mom International Mothers’ Day Shrine

Mothers’ Day was first celebrated in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St. Andrews Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia (now the International Mothers’ Day Shrine). In 2014, I had the great honor of speaking at the 100 year anniversary of the creation of the shrine and commemoration of the official holiday with my mother in attendance. Items and ephemera from that occasion are currently housed in the MOM Art Annex in St. Petersburg, Florida.

~ Martha Joy Rose

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When Pandemonium Hits – Caregivers Unite!

When pandemonium hits, caregivers unite!

When families have to hunker down and stay put with their kids out of school, community contacts are restricted, and the workplace is disrupted, we must do everything within our power to stay positive.

When healthcare concerns trump everyday freedoms, each of us must look to the future and how we can make things better.

When Kimberly Seals writes an article for a widely-read publication about the often difficult and unpaid labor of caregivers, I pay attention.

Her recent article for #WomensHistoryMonth is online at the #WashingtonPost here.

I feel grateful to have contributed to this piece.

I feel grateful to you for reading it.

I feel grateful to live in her world (and yours).

I feel grateful to #teach #MotherStudies.

While you are spending more time social distancing, may you and your loved ones have food, may you and your loved ones have shelter, may you and your loved ones be well, may you keep the light of love inside you.

With Great Affection,

Martha Joy Rose

Get woke. Or, at least, well read: For your personal reading list, or if you’re in a book club, Rose suggests including titles that examine motherhood in a historical, racial or cultural context. She specifically recommends “Motherhood and Feminism” by Amber Kinser; “Reproducing Race” by Khiara M. Bridges; “Black Feminist Thought” by Patricia Hill Collins; and “The Price of Motherhood” by Crittenden. Take a six-week class with the Museum of Motherhood, or attend an online event this month. KSA

Kimberly Seals Allers and Martha Joy Rose at the Annual Academic MOM Conference in NYC

 

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The Founding Mothers: Women in Herstory

This month marks the International celebration of Women’s Day (Sunday, March 8) and Women’s History Month.

Both of these acknowledgments demonstrate an earnest desire to understand and honor the contributions of women. Wednesday, March 11th will mark the opening event for a new exhibit at USF, Women’s and Gender Studies Dept., curated by Martha Joy Rose.

Panels featuring the four waves of feminism flank the entrance to the exhibit titled The Founding Mothers: Women in Herstory. Also on exhibit are a myriad of art pieces including works by Rose, Christen Clifford, and Kim Alderman. This timely installation brings together feminist voices throughout herstory who have challenged conventional attitudes about gendered performance and motherhood through their writing, activism, and art. A multi-media interactive exhibit encourages participants to think critically about evolving family narratives and womyn’s place in society.

Please do come visit. See the impact Mother Studies can have on your life, perspective, and the future. Write INFO@MOMmuseum.org for more info. Flyer for the opening event is here. The exhibit will be up through May 8, 2020.

See more panels here online at the Museum of Motherhood: LINK

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MAMA Issue 40: External Masquerade and Scars

Bio: Anna Perach’s practice is informed by the dynamic between personal and cultural myths. She explores how our private narratives are deeply rooted in ancient storytelling and folklore and conversely how folklore has the ability to tell us intimate, confidential stories about ourselves. In her work, She synthesizes female mythic characters and retells their stories while placing them in the current climate. By doing so Anna creates an experience of eeriness, evoking a sense of both familiarity and distress.

Anna’s main medium of work is wearable sculpture and performance. She works in a technique called tufting, making hand-made carpet textiles that she transforms into wearable sculptures. The sculpture functions as both a garment that is performed in as well as an independent sculpture. Through this choice of medium Anna is interested in exploring how elements associated with the domestic sphere operate as an extension of the self and reflect on one’s heritage and gender role. Her performances reverse this dynamic and exhibit the private domestic carpet as an external masquerade both exposing and hiding fragments of the self.

ALKANOST: tufted yarn and hand embroidery, 80x130cm, 2019

https://www.annaperach.com/work

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Scars

By Jane Yolen

I saw my mother undressed once.

There were ribbed scars on her back.

I rubbed my point finger

lightly over one of the ridges.

She shuddered at my touch.

I asked her if it hurt.

She said it was a reminder,

her voice almost cooing.

I was too young to understand.

Years later when they took my wings,

before I could even stretch them,

before the air had foiled around them,

I remembered that day. My daughter

and her daughters will never go

under that particular knife.

I will keep them safe, hidden

till the wind can lift them.

There is so much sky.

Jane Yolen will have published over 376 books by the end of 2018. She has worked in almost every genre possible. Her books include several NY Times bestselling children’s picture books, prize-winning short stories, and poems. Six colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates. She was the first writer to win the New England Public Radio’s Arts & Humanities award. She’s mother of three (all in the book business) and grandmother of six.

“Scars” by Jane Yolen was previously published in Mom Egg Review Vol. 17, 2019.

The Museum of Motherhood, the ProCreate Project, the Mom Egg Review, and the Mother Magazine are pleased to announce the launch of a bi-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

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A Mothers’ Breastfeeding Struggles Are Not Her Fault – Blame Society

By Dee Merrit

Mothers are warriors.

If you look back on the history of birth in the U.S., 95% of infants were born at home with midwives. Promptly after birth, the child was placed on the mothers’ breast to nurse. Today, many women seem to doubt their ability to give birth naturally and breastfeed. Often society does little to support them.

Many women desire to breastfeed and though the rates have slowly been rising research shows there is still a decrease in breastfeeding rates from birth to one-year. A quick google search will show you why there is a decrease. What is not listed amidst the CDC research is how women have been taught to not trust their bodies.

In America, it is more common (and comfortable) to see women advertised in lingerie and skimpy clothing. At the same time, a woman nursing in public can publicly shamed or experience feelings of discomfort, or be judged critically. Nursing mothers are still evicted from public spaces, restaurants, and they encounter rude comments when strangers express they do not want their child(ren) exposed to breastfeeding. Although breastfeeding is what our bodies are designed to do, it can be awkward and has been referred to as something to be socially discreet about.

As a mother of three boys, I would rather have them grow up knowing breasts have a purpose. Women’s bodies are uniquely formed to feed babies and also to comfort them. Additionally, nursing a newborn helps with psychological development (and so many more other beneficial things).

In some communities, mothers have access to breastfeeding help through groups like La Leche, as well as breastfeeding cafes and mother support groups. Still, some mothers struggle. It could be that many mothers continue to get false information from health care professionals who are not educated about lactation, and though health care professionals mean well, they sometimes insinuate that mothers should not trust their bodies.

All breastfeeding mothers should have access to local references from lactation professionals and be free of cruelty and judgment. If an advisor is not available, then there are other ways to connect to professional consultants including email, phone, and video chat. Unfortunately, these options are not always promoted. Many health care professionals unintentionally perpetuate myths about breastfeeding. For example, I have heard of women being told that breastfeeding can hurt; NO! Breastfeeding should not hurt! If it does, then it is a signal that something may be wrong and the nursing mother should seek help from an IBCLC. There are so many myths that continue to be perpetuated. Here are a few listed online courtesy of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF [LINK].

Even with available resources, some mothers of young children struggle just getting out of the house. They’re tired, overwhelmed, and are dealing with a  mixed bag of emotions. If they have a messy house on top of that, they may not want to entertain visitors. Believe me, no one coming to support or assist a mother with nursing is spending their energy judging a messy home. (My own kitchen has been not been cleaned since I had my first son 8 years ago and yet, I continued to have more children)!

In this shared graph from Katie Hinde, an Associate Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Senior Sustainability Scientist at Arizona State University, and a researcher of lactation, she shares on this brief clip on Ted Talks what little we know about breastmilk compared to other subjects.

She shares this powerful message, “Many mothers do not reach their breastfeeding goals, that is not their failure, it’s ours.”

Do nursing mothers have rights? Yes, they do. But in 2019 some mothers still struggle with being told they can not nurse in public. As recently as this summer, a woman in Texas was told she could not nurse her baby at the public pool. Even though this mother knew hew rights, this issue escalated quickly and police were called to the scene. A breastfeeding mother has rights for a reason. These rights should not only be known by mothers but by public servants as well. Government employees as well as other facilities that say they support breastfeeding mothers need to be required to read and understand breastfeeding rights for customers, as well as their employees. This can vary from state to state. Mothers nursing in public helps to expose the general public to an infant’s needs as well as the very natural act of maternal nursing.

Even though some people in the general public may be hurtful, many other breastfeeding advocates will support you. We are mothers, we have the right to feed our babies as we choose, and we will not be silenced for choosing to breastfeed whenever and wherever our child is hungry outside the home.

Sources:
https://sites.google.com/site/historyofchildbirthinamerica/historical-resources/historical-timeline
https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/nis_data/results.html
https://www.unicef.org/parenting/food-nutrition/14-myths-about-breastfeeding
https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/11/health/texas-breastfeeding-pool-trnd/index.html

Deann’s Other Blogs at MOM: 

Why Don’t IBLCLCs And Dentists Agree
How Income and Insurance Can Affect Breastfeeding Support For New Moms
Breastfeeding Education Might Not Be What You Think It Is
Gender Disappointment

Recent Press: Cayuga News about Dee Merrit at MOM