As we move into April and welcome spring, we also get closer to our annual conference. As you may have seen on other locations on the website, this year, our 2015 conference is titled “New Maternalisms: Tales of Motherwork (Dislodging the Unthinkable)”. The conference will be held over three days, April 30, May 1-2, Thursday-Saturday. Thursday’s program will be held at the CUNY Graduate Center, located at 5th Ave and 34th St. in Manhattan. Friday and Saturday’s program will then be held at Manhattan College, located on Manhattan College Parkway in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.
This year’s theme, the concept of “New Maternalisms” is intended to expose the “fissures and cracks between the ideological representation of motherhood and the lived experience of being a mother” (Klein 2012). Through a series of lectures, panels, keynotes, art, and bridging opportunities, the program seeks to bring increased visibility to motherhood and the labor of “motherwork.” We’re so excited to share this year’s program content and how it brings this to life. The conference will feature a wide range of topics on motherhood, including: “Expanding Theory on Motherhood and Caregiving”, “Visual and Popular Depictions of Mothers”, “Extending/Erasing Motherhood”, a panel on “Intimate Labor: Doulas and Motherwork”, “Motherhood, Identity, and Attachment”, “The Personal Journey and Maternal Storytelling”, a panel on “Interconnected Maternalisms: Examples of Everyday Languages”, “Institutional and Systemic Barriers of Motherhood: Femivores, Foster Care, and Things”, “Motherwork, Culture, and Patriarchal Societies”, “Work-Life Balance, Motherhood and Meaning”, a panel on “Making the Invisible Visible: Valuing Motherwork in Society’s Economy and Institutions”, “Motherwork Bodies, Birthing, and Breastfeeding”, “Mothering, Disability, and Motherless Daughters”, a film screening of MIMI and DONA, “Self-Help Theory and Motherhood”, and a panel titled “To the Moon and Back: Why Mothers March, Motherless Children”.
This year’s keynote address will be delivered by Barbara Katz Rothman in room 9205 of the CUNY, GC at 4:45p. a motherwork warrior who is near and dear to our heart here at the Museum of Motherhood. Dr. Katz Rothman is a Professor of Sociology, Public Health, Disability Studies, Women’s Studies, and the Food Studies concentration at the CUNY Graduate Center (and advisor to our own Martha Joy Rose, no less!). She has done extensive work in the areas of midwifery and reproductive technologies. Her scholarship covers new genetics, medical sociology, bioethics, issues in disability, adoption, race, and food studies. The author of works such as In Labor, The Tentative Pregnancy, Recreating Motherhood, The Book of Life, Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Adoption, Laboring On, and the upcoming book, Bun in the Oven: Crafting an Artisanal Midwifery Movement, she has also published numerous articles and curated several academic journals in her fields. In recognition of her contributions to the movement, Dr. Katz Rothman was named to our very own Motherhood Hall of Fame in 2014. Her keynote address will be “Women as Fathers,” how our new technologies and practices are recreating motherhood in the image of an old-fashioned patriarchal fatherhood.
Written by: Jenny Nigro, M.o.M. Online Intern