Motherhood Hall of Fame 2015; Amber Kinser, Ann Fessler
First and foremost, thank you to everyone who came out to our 2015 “New Maternalisms” conference held over the weekend at the CUNY Graduate Center and Manhattan College, and to all our empowering and uplifting speakers! We will continue to grapple with the issues and material raised over the course of the three-day series throughout the upcoming year. It’s a good feeling to be so knowledge-heavy! Following this insightful, invigorating, and thought-provoking journey, we’re moving full-speed ahead into the week of Mother’s Day and all the associated activities we have planned. We will continue to champion motherwork through a week-long book fair sponsored by Barnes and Noble to benefit the museum, a speaker/reading series to be held at the Upper West Side Barnes and Noble each day between May 6-May 10, and our annual Motherhood Hall of Fame event on Thursday, May 7 at the Upper West Side Barnes and Noble.
The Motherhood Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be hosted by the Museum of Motherhood’s Joy Rose and Manhattan College Professor of Sociology Roksana Badruddoja. The event will take place from 7-9PM on Thursday, May 7 at the Upper West Side Barnes and Noble (on the corner of 82nd and Broadway*). The evening will honor Ann Fessler and Amber Kinser through remarks, performances, a question/answer session, and readings/talks from the two awardees. The Museum of Motherhood is celebrating these motherhood warriors for their “Practical and Political Inspiration.”
For more on Ann Fessler and Amber Kinser’s contribution to our field, check out their bios below:
Ann Fessler is a photographer, filmmaker, and author. She a professor in the Photography department at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her films, photographs, artists’ books, and audio and video installations have been shown in galleries, museums, and film festivals around the world. Her own experience with adoption has inspired her to explore this topic artistically and has been the theme of her work for the last 25 years. In 2003, Ann was awarded a Radcliffe Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University to compile research and conduct interviews with women who lost children to adoption in the 1950s and 1960s. This research culminated in the publication of The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade (Penguin Press), which was chosen as one of the top 5 non-fiction books of 2006 by the National Book Critics Circle and received the Ballard Book Prize. The Times called it a “remarkably well-researched and accomplished book.” Her recent film, A Girl Like Her (Women Make Movies), has been screened internationally at festivals, colleges, and conferences, and has been subtitled in 5 languages.
Amber Kinser is a writer, speaker, mother, and professor. She is a professor of Communication and Performance at East Tennessee State University, where her scholarship covers family, food, gender, and communication. She was instrumental in forging the Women’s Studies undergraduate major at the university. Dr. Kinser is the author of Performing Motherhood: Artistic, Activist, and Everyday Enactments and Motherhood and Feminism. She is currently underway in a university-sponsored research project, for which she received a $10,000 grant, to study motherhood and the family meal.
*Please note, a previous post had erroneously listed this address as being at 86th and Broadway. The Upper West Side Barnes and Noble location is at 2289 Broadway, the corner of 82nd and Broadway.
Written by: Jenny Nigro, MoM Online Intern