MOM Art Annex: Exhibition & Education Center

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Congratulations Ruth Lubic and Kimm Sun – MHOF Recipients 2016 [CLICK]

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This year the Motherhood Hall of Fame honors everyday she-roes.

CONGRATULATIONS Ruth Lubic and Kimm Sun

Event to be held May 5th 7:30-9 at Teachers College, NYC. DRINKS AT 7PM. Please RSVP at Motherhood Hall of Fame.

WHEN: May 5th (Thursday)
WHAT TIME: 7:30-9PM
WHERE: Teachers College Columbia University – 525 West 120th Street Milbank Chapel, New York, NY 10027

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Reflections on Introduction to Mother Studies Course – by Zairunisha Jnu

Zairunisha photoAbout a month ago, I posted my reflections on the summer intensive course taught through the Museum of Motherhood. I invited my comrade, Zairunisha Jnu, to do the same and offer her impressions from Introduction to Mother Studies.  Zairunisha is a PhD. candidate in the Centre for Philosophy, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.  She is presently working on her research project entitled ” Rhetorics of Choice and Coercion on Motherhood: Revisiting Bioethical Debates from Feminists Perspectives.”

Here is what she said:

I am a student of philosophy and my research area focuses on issues in the field of bioethics with special reference to the impact of new reproductive technologies on motherhood.  During my studies on my research project, I hadn’t studied motherhood in such a broader perspective before doing the Mother Studies course offered by the Museum of Motherhood. The Introduction to Mother Studies course provided a panoptic platform for mothers, students, scholars, professional, etc. where the participants are encouraged and motivated to critically examine, analyse, and correlate problems faced by mothers in their day to day lives from various perspectives, especially from a sociological lens within historical, economic, political and sociological frameworks. Also sometimes we were asked to try to find out solutions to the problems and challenges.  

For me this course was very enlightening in the field of motherhood. I have a knowledge of mother-related problems, issues not only from an American perspective, but an Indian perspective too. Different tools and methods of teaching for instance video lectures, mind blowing movies, news reports, reading materials, writing assignments (hardest part of the course 🙂 etc. made a great combination of practical and theoretical knowledge which encouraged and forced me to rethink about the situation of mothers in the society and question on the pre-established image of women and the role they perform in the family.

As I mentioned above that I am a philosophy student, just familiar with the name of some feminist thinkers such as Adrienne Rich, Sara Ruddick, Patricia Hill Collins, Barbara Katz Rothman and a few others. I have come to learn more about their work and contributions through the Mother Studies course importantly on mother, mothering and motherhood.

In the book Of Women Born, the issues of sexuality, childbirth, child care, and women’s health, Adrienne Rich questions and critiques male-centric cultures and practices. The articleUndivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice” by Jael Silliman, Marlene Gerber Fried and others, focuses on women’s awareness in the field of reproductive rights and gender inequality. Additionally, Barbara Katz Rothman’s book, Recreating Motherhood shows the perpetuating condition and coercion over ignorant women still continuing in modern technological time and world. It is so hard for competent women to save themselves from the milieu of the society and perform their choices as a free being where mothering is always considered a personal activity and unconsciously become political matter. The crude reality is, only society will decide about you, being a woman  how threatening it is! Nevertheless in this scenario, Mother Studies offers a positive approach and hope for action.  

In this manner, I agree with Jenny’s view that the emerging Mother Studies course is a revolutionary step in the way of making the personal political and academic. It was such a wonderful and unique experience for me working together throughout the coursework with our teacher and classmate/friend. I am keenly looking forward to the possibility of a workshop regarding Mother Studies where we can meet again and explore more prospects and opportunities for our Mother Studies work.   

Written by: Zairunisha Jnu
Arranged by: Jenny Nigro, MoM Online Intern

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On My Experience of Motherhood Studies

PatriciaHillCollinsYou may have seen some of my blog posts over the last several weeks that came from the response papers I wrote for the Introduction to Mother Studies course offered through the museum. With a capstone paper using research on current topics related to reproductive technology, the class culminated three weeks ago last Sunday afternoon. I promised myself that I would not begin watching the newest season of Orange is the New Black until the course finished, and I have since been relishing these moments of TV consumption.

Other than satisfying my Netflix addiction, I have been able to reflect back on the course since finishing it. I was a Sociology major in college but took a lot of classes in the Women’s Studies department. Adrienne Rich and Patricia Hill Collins contributed foundational texts to our study in Introduction to Mother Studies. The names and works of these scholars were familiar to me from undergrad. However, studying them in the context of Introduction to Mother Studies, I began to see them in a new light…as mothers. Because of the strength of their words and power of their knowledge, I had always identified them as feminist first, whatever else second. But in a movement where “the personal is political” has been a rallying cry, perhaps for them, they would see themselves as mother/sister/self first, feminist second.

In “Beyond Mothers and Fathers,” Barbara Katz Rothman, a pioneer to the movement, said: “Mothering is an activity, a project…[M]otherhood…is not just a physical or emotional relationship – it is also an intellectual activity.” Scholars and writers have known this and have been doing Mother Studies work for a long time. Whether we have seen it as such or not, the personal has always been political. When women gave birth in their homes attended by practiced midwives, and then again when slander campaigns saw the shift to in-hospital births, Mother Studies was in action. When white middle-class housewives’ alienation derived from raising children in suburban America gave way to the rise of second-wave feminism, Mother Studies was in action. When the eugenics movement created a legacy of racist and anti-poverty sterilization policies, Mother Studies was in action. When images of the super-mom were contrasted with social commentary on the decline of the American family, Mother Studies was in action. When feminists came to the defense of Mary Beth Whitehead, a surrogate who refused to give up her baby, questioning what makes a mother, Mother Studies was in action. We are not recreating the wheel. Our Introduction to Mother Studies is the first time that we are calling it such and the first time we are carving out a space for it as a legitimate discipline. We are making the personal political…and academic.

Find out more about classes in Mother Studies online here.

By: Jenny Nigro, MoM Online Intern

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ICYMI: Mother’s Day Week in Review

Flyer_B&N_FinalAfter our two-week long Mother’s Day blitz, we at the Museum of Motherhood are feeling a range of emotions: engaged, curious, tired, brave, inquisitive, grateful, overworked, eager, empowered, loved, etc. (all of which resonate with the self-described experience of motherhood!). Our annual conference, and subsequent week of special readings/appearances at the Upper West Side Barnes & Noble and award ceremony for our Motherhood Hall of Fame were all a tremendous success! In case you missed any of the events, here’s a brief recap:

On Thursday, April 30 – Saturday, May 2, we grappled with concepts related to “New Maternalisms”, including visual depictions of motherhood, doula work, motherhood identity, maternal storytelling, mothers navigating disabilities, institutional barriers to motherhood, work-life balance, body/breastfeeding issues, and motherhood theory. We heard a keynote from Barbara Katz Rothman on “Mothers as Fathers.” Our own Joy Rose introduced the formation of her burgeoning field of Mother Studies and associated academic journal.

On Wednesday, May 7, we heard from Marjorie Kessler and selections of her compilation from a series of mom-centric authors, The Mom Egg Review.

On Thursday, May 8, we honored Ann Fessler and Amber Kinser with their induction to the Motherhood Hall of Fame. Both authors spoke about their pieces – The Girls Who Went Away and Motherhood and Feminism, respectively. We got a more in-depth perspective of their writing/research journeys through a Q & A session with both women following the recognition ceremony.

On Friday, May 9, we welcomed select authors from Listen to Your Mother, a collection of 56 soul-bearing essays on motherhood, childbearing, family, and parenting.

On Saturday, May 10, we got to meet family nutrition guru, Laura Fuentes. Laura shared insight on family food, children’s health, recipe development, and mom-trepreneurism.

Lastly as a special Mother’s Day treat, on Sunday, we had the privilege of hearing from back-to-back speakers. First, Katharine Holabird, author of the famous Angelina Ballerina series enchanted us with a glimpse into her whimsical world. Then, Susan Konig – editor, journalist, radio host, and writer – spoke about her new book, Teenagers and Toddlers Are Trying to Kill Me. Then, we celebrated Mother’s Day with a bang!

Written by: Jenny Nigro, MoM Online Intern

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Guerrilla Radio meets Motherhood?

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Where: Online at CUNYcast.net

When: April 30 – May 2, 2015

Why: The digital humanities aim to make visible work in the humanities through mediums and tools that empower communities with information.

As part of the DH Praxis class pioneered by Mathew Gold and Stephen Brier at CUNY, The Graduate Center, students look to create new projects that challenge existing modes of education while creating cool new tools that aid students in their search for information.

The spring semester praxis class, lead under the tutelage of Luke Waltzer (Baruch) and Amanda Hickman (School of Journalism) has identified four worthy projects that are currently being spearheaded over the next 15 weeks, culminating with a presentation to the Provost on May 19th.

One of those projects is CUNYcast, a rogue radio network whereby students can capture content from classes, events, and even protests. The brainchild of masters’ candidate James Mason, CUNYcast’s small team also includes Julia Pollack and Martha Joy Rose who on track to earn their master’s in Digital Humanities and Mother Studies respectively.

The Annual Academic M.O.M. Conference in its 10th year is being hosted on April 30th at The Graduate Center with Barbara Katz Rothman giving the keynote: Women as Fathers. “This just seemed like the perfect opportunity to let people know about two great initiatives,” says Rose, founder of the Museum of Motherhood in NYC. Both the idea of guerilla radio at The Graduate Center, and the fact that Mother Studies, a completely new field of inquiry, would be fostered and allowed to flourish, says so much about the spirit of adventure and the excitement of learning at CUNY.

CUNYcast is a live online radio website offering students an opportunity to stream audio using original content from classes, lectures, and projects. CUNYCast’s aim is to empower a DH guerrilla broadcast community. The team hopes to launch its first all day broadcast at the conference this year, so those who cannot attend can at least listen online.

For more information contact: Martha Joy Rose – Outreach Coordinator CUNYcast.net

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Annual Academic M.O.M. Conference 2015

10 YEARS AND GOING STRONG
Greetings Annual Academic M.O.M. Conference Participants –
See you on Thursday, April 30th at The Graduate Center in NYC room 9205 which is adjoined to room 9206, and May 1-2 Friday-Saturday at Manhattan College.
We hope you are as excited as we are about this year’s conference.
There are presenters attending from all over the globe, and we look forward to welcoming local students and community members to the presentations.
Thursday morning:
10a: Conference Introduction: Martha Joy Rose
4:45-5:45 Keynote: Barbara Katz Rothman: Women as Fathers
Presenters: If you have not yet paid at this point – please do! It will make the registration process go much smoother. Payment link is:MOMmuseum. We welcome donations too.
The event is free and open to the public for the purposes of more widely disseminating information about Mother Studies. So, feel free to invite friends, family, and your students.
At this point, programs have been ordered, breakfast has been planned (Friday only), and promotions are ongoing.
RADIO & SOCIAL MEDIA
We are pleased to announce that an experimental digital humanities online radio project is underway and we have hopes of launching it with a full day of broadcasting during the conference on Friday April 30th. We are hoping people will be able to tune into CUNYcast.net and access a live broadcast of the conference if they are not able to attend.
We will also be tweeting @MOMmuseum @CUNYcast and FB-ing
Regarding the following items:
Book Sales * Power Points * Microphones * Room Set Up
Please go ONLINE and READ carefully everything that is posted.
You should find answers to most questions there!
PROGRAM AND PRESENTATION INFO

FULL PROGRAM INFO: Including continental breakfast on Friday at MC and parking pass if you are driving.

We do NOT have an official book seller. If you wish to bring books to sell, then you will be responsible, although we will do our best to provide help at the registration desk. If you have flyers or CFPs you are welcome to bring those too.
You can bring books to sell all 3 days.
We will provide a table?
You do not need to mind your books the whole time- honor system usually works.
We do not take a cut of your sales.
Don’t bring too many- you’ll be miserable schlepping them around the city. Maybe a dozen?
You are also welcome to bring postcards, flyers and CFPs.
Presentations take place within a typical classroom, with power point capabilities, etc: Zip drive, online presos, and computer plug in should all work, but I encourage you to bring BACK UP just in case. (For example. Post your presentation online at a place where you can access it, just in case.)
TRANSPORTATION
New York City has two major airports: JFK and LaGuardia.
Public transportation is available from both via train, and cab.
The train from JFK is rather straightforward and costs about $7.50. I would encourage you not to be fearful about taking this option if budget is a concern. There are people at the airport who can direct you, and I’ve done this many times. Here is a link to the NYC Subway Map: http://web.mta.info/nyct/maps/subwaymap.pdf
CONFERENCE LOCATION
Mid-Town MANHATTAN – Thursday, April 30, the conference this year will take place at The Graduate Center; 365 5th Ave. (at 34th St)
BRONX (a Borough of Manhattan) Friday & Saturday, May 1-2, at Manhattan College, 4513 Manhattan College Parkway, Bronx, NY 10471
(These two institutions are about a 40 minute subway ride w/brief walk from each other) We are starting registration each day at 9:00 giving people more time for travel :-))

MORE
The Graduate Center is across the street from the Empire State Building, and very centrally located. There are many hotels in the area. I recommend staying in Manhattan, as the hotels are all easily linked by mass transit, which is not the case in the Bronx.
Manhattan is divided into the West and East sides, with subway trains that operate separately on either side of the city. It can be a 40 minute trek from the West to East side, either by bus, or foot, or crosstown subway. It might be easier to stay on the WEST SIDE IF POSSIBLE.
FYI, the subway that best serves Manhattan College is the #1 or #6 train on the West SideLink to more info. Even more info.
 
READ MORE ABOUT THE CONFERENCE HERE [CLICK]
 
With Great Warmth – 
M. Joy Rose on behalf of the MOM Academic Committee