MOM Art Annex: Exhibition & Education Center

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This Year For Mothers’ Day – Buy a Book, Attend a Conference or Gallery, Share Knowledge

Mothers’ Day Week 2016

2016 INDUCTIONS to the Motherhood Hall of Fame; Honor the Call of the Midwife – Join us!

Thursday, May 5 – Motherhood Hall of Fame; Columbia Teacher’s College 7:30-9PM (Free). 525 West 120th Street Milbank Chapel, NYC.

Join us for drinks before at 7PM. RSVP Pleasehttps://mommuseum.org/motherhood-hall-of-fame/

Performances, story-telling, and induction ceremony with co-sponsors:

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR HONOREES

Ruth Lubic (ED.D. ‘79, M.A. ‘61, B.S. ‘59)

Kimm Sun, is a Certified Nurse Midwife, Nurse Practitioner

MHOF_Header_2016

12th Annual M.O.M. Academic Conference

THEORIZING MOTHERHOOD IN THE ACADEMY

***M.O.M. Conference Panelists and Presenters – See Schedule. Each time slot is 20 minutes (unless I have written to tell you differently)***

Friday, May 6th MORNING OPENING KEYNOTE: Laura Tropp specializes in media and politics and representations of pregnancy, motherhood, and families in popular culture.

Saturday, May 7th MORNING OPENING KEYNOTE: Kimberly Seals Allers whose 5th book The Big Let Down will be published this summer. Kimberly is an award-winning journalist, author and a nationally recognized media commentator, speaker, consultant and advocate for infant health.

MORE at M.O.M./ FULL SCHEDULE

FACILITIES

We will be meeting in the Alumni Room, which is in the lower portion of the library. Look for signs, or take the elevator from the O’Malley Library.

TECH SUPPORT

There is a power point projector, computer, speaker, and screen onsite. Bring your laptop or a zip drive, or post your material in the cloud and you will be able to present using the equipment at our location. There is some limited space for brochures, art, and books as well. Feel free to share your passions.

BAGEL & COFFEE BREAKFAST WILL BE PROVIDED EACH DAY

SOCIAL MEDIA 

Do you have a twitter handle or a Facebook page? Let’s connect!!

  1. @MOMmuseum
  2. https://www.facebook.com/MOMmuseum/

CONFERENCE LOCATION

May 6-7 MOM Conference at Manhattan College, 4513 Manhattan College Parkway, Bronx, NY 10471 (Schedule TBD) – We will updating the schedule in the next few weeks.

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

PANELS, CULTURE, and SPECIAL GATHERINGS

New York City is an amazing place. Surely you will want to do a little exploring. We also plan on organizing a few special panels, roundtable discussions, and speakers for you, but will make sure there is time in the evenings to step out, either with conference goers or on your own.

GETTING AROUND

Here is a subway map of Manhattan.

FYI, the subway that best serves Manhattan College is the #1 or #6 train on the West SideLink to more info and directions to MC.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. We will continue to update the Conference tab.

  • ALSO PLEASE SEE – DEMETER PRESS – NEW RELEASE – NEW MATERNALISMSORDER NOW
  • New_Maternalisms

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CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR ACCEPTED CONFERENCE PRESENTERS

MOM_logo_SM

THEORIZING MOTHERHOOD IN THE ACADEMY

VIEW NEWSLETTER

– THIS YEAR’S CONFERENCE –

2016 INDUCTIONS Honor the Call of the Midwife

Thursday, May 5 Motherhood Hall of Fame; Columbia Teacher’s College 7:30-9PM (Free). 525 West 120th Street Milbank Chapel, NYC.

Join us for drinks before at 7PM. RSVP Pleasehttps://mommuseum.org/motherhood-hall-of-fame/

Performances, story-telling, and induction ceremony with co-sponsors:

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR HONOREES

Ruth Lubic (ED.D. ‘79, M.A. ‘61, B.S. ‘59) has championed community-based birthing by listening to the needs of the people she serves. It’s an approach she honed at TC. Lubic is considered among the mothers of the American midwifery movement. The recipient of a MacArthur “genius award,” she co-founded the National Association of Childbearing Centers, has inspired creation of more than 300 free-standing birth centers and is an American Academy of Nursing “living legend.”

Kimm Sun, is a Certified Nurse Midwife, Nurse Practitioner who attends home births in New York City.  Previously a photographer, she started her midwifery career as a labor and delivery nurse over ten years ago and then worked in a community hospital as a staff midwife.  She received her Midwifery and Nurse Practitioner degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Born in Malaysia and of Chinese heritage, she speaks five languages and has taught birth attendants in Micronesia, Haiti, Nepal, Vietnam and Kenya. Besides caring for her much loved “mama clients”, she is currently developing a different approach to birth education that is more accurate to the woman’s actual internal experience.

MHOF_Logos_2016

12th Annual M.O.M. Academic Conference

THEORIZING MOTHERHOOD IN THE ACADEMY

(I expect to have the final schedule posted online over the weekend. Through the date of your presentation will not change, some time slots may be adjusted.)

LauraFriday, May 6th MORNING OPENING KEYNOTE: Laura Tropp specializes in media and politics and representations of pregnancy, motherhood, and families in popular culture. She teaches courses in communication theory, media history, campaigns and elections, media law and motherhood studies. Her books include: Womb With A View and Deconstructing Dads.

KimSaturday, May 7th MORNING OPENING KEYNOTE: Kimberly Seals Allers whose 5th book The Big Let Down will be published this summer. Kimberly is an award-winning journalist, author and a nationally recognized media commentator, speaker, consultant, and advocate for infant health. A former senior editor at ESSENCE and writer at FORTUNE magazine. Kimberly is widely considered a leading voice in the counterculture movement in infant feeding. Kimberly’s fifth book, The Big Let Down—How Medicine, Big Business and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding will be published by St. Martin’s Press this summer.

MORE at M.O.M.

FACILITIES

There is a power point projector, computer, speaker, and screen onsite. Bring your laptop or a zip drive, or post your material in the cloud and you will be able to present using the equipment at our location. There is some limited space for brochures, art, and books as well. Feel free to share your passions.

BAGEL & COFFEE BREAKFAST WILL BE PROVIDED EACH DAY

SOCIAL MEDIA 

Do you have a twitter handle or a Facebook page? Let’s connect!!

  1. @MOMmuseum
  2. https://www.facebook.com/MOMmuseum/

CONFERENCE LOCATION

May 6-7 MOM Conference at Manhattan College, 4513 Manhattan College Parkway, Bronx, NY 10471 (Schedule TBD) – We will updating the schedule in the next few weeks.

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

PANELS, CULTURE, and SPECIAL GATHERINGS

New York City is an amazing place. Surely you will want to do a little exploring. We also plan on organizing a few special panels, roundtable discussions, and speakers for you, but will make sure there is time in the evenings to step out, either with conference goers or on your own.

ACCOMMODATIONS

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. TRY to stay on the WEST SIDE IF POSSIBLE, anywhere from Times Square to the north: West 40th Street, 50s, 70’s, all the way to Harlem etc. Included here is a subway map of Manhattan.

FYI, the subway that best serves Manhattan College is the #1 or #6 train on the West SideLink to more info and directions to MC.

Mother Studies is a field of interdisciplinary study devoted to the issues, experiences, topics, history, and culture of mothers, mothering, and motherhood. How else can we identify and define this new and emerging field? Some proposed concepts include “me” and “otherness” or m/otherness interpretations, procreation, caregiving, maternal health, motherhood as experience and institution, and relational theory as navigated within social and cultural constructions. What are its key elements, its compliments, and how can we theorize motherhood in the academy? How can mother and/or father studies be introduced in more formal ways within classrooms, including high school? Do we need an interdisciplinary degree in mother or father studies on the undergraduate or graduate level? If you are already teaching motherhood or mothering studies, or fatherhood, fathering studies, from what perspective or discipline do you approach the work? Please share your ideas. This is the forum to put this field into place.

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU AT THIS YEAR’S EVENTS

Questions: Info@MOMmuseum.org

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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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Online Classes in Mother Studies Have Started [CLICK]

Online classes have started.

The Museum of Motherhood is proud to launch online classes in Mother Studies [LINK]. Organized and taught by Martha Joy Rose, BFA, MA, who is a pioneer in the field, the first session will be offered as part of a seven week summer intensive called “Introduction to Mother Studies.

Mother Studies is a field of interdisciplinary study devoted to the issues, experiences, topics, history, and culture of mothers, mothering, and motherhood.

This bold new experiment aims to increase understanding and expand dialogue within the academic, and para-academic realm of Mother Studies: also known as Motherhood Studies, Mothering Studies, and Maternal Studies.

We look forward to adding additional classes in the future. If you have a course ready to go, and want to bring it to the Museum of Motherhood community, please write us at MOMmuseum@gmail.com

Registration is open currently closed for the 7 week summer accelerated class: (Summer schedule is June 15 – July 27).

Registration for the fall semester begins July 15 here.

All coursework takes place online and can be completed according to your personal schedule.

  • Learn about key issues facing mothers in the United States
  • Gain knowledge about the history of American motherhood
  • Understand theories of race, class, and gender
  • Learn about motherhood and feminism
  • Experience the art of motherhood
  • Understand how American family policies compare to other countries’
  • Empower your life through knowledge
  • Understand your personal position relative to dominant ideologies
  • Be part of an intellectual movement and supportive community

Who Should Take This Class: This course is appropriate for college students, professionals, and para-academics (laypeople) interested in expanding their knowledge base. Materials are presented from an interdisciplinary perspective, and are devoted to the issues, experiences, topics, history, and culture of mothers, mothering, and motherhood. This class can also serve as a launching point for those hoping to write about motherhood and whom may wish to submit to the Journal of Mother Studies (JourMS) for publishing credit.

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Mother Studies Online Classes Launch at M.O.M. [CLICK]

The_Educated_Parent_Header

The Museum of Motherhood is proud to launch online classes in Mother Studies. Organized and taught by Martha Joy Rose, BFA, MA, who is a pioneer in the field, the first session will be offered as part of a seven week summer intensive called “Introduction to Mother Studies.

Mother Studies is a field of interdisciplinary study devoted to the issues, experiences, topics, history, and culture of mothers, mothering, and motherhood.

Registration is open now until June 10 for the 7 week summer intensive: (Summer schedule is June 15 – July 27). All coursework takes place online and can be completed according to your personal schedule.

  • Learn about key issues facing mothers in the United States
  • Gain knowledge about the history of American motherhood
  • Understand theories of race, class, and gender
  • Learn about motherhood and feminism
  • Experience the art of motherhood
  • Understand how American family policies compare to other countries’
  • Empower your life through knowledge
  • Understand your personal position relative to dominant ideologies
  • Be part of an intellectual movement and supportive community

First time students may access a special discount coupon here:

Coupon

 

 

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Euthenics at Vassar 1800’s Style & Mother Studies Today

As with most colleges, the buildings of my alma mater carried the namesakes of whoever had donated the money for their construction. During undergrad, I would pass by these buildings on campus with no real consideration for their benefactors or how they came to be on campus. The only real associations I made were what classes I had in each, or which friends I knew that lived in them. Running from class to the dining hall to my dorm and back to class, the names “Lathrop” and “Blodgett” didn’t hold any real significance to me, other than the former was the dorm next to mine freshman and sophomore years and the latter housed a lot of my classes. Okay, Blodgett Hall did play a more important role in my college years, than, say, Lathrop House, as it housed the department that I majored in. So for the last two years of college, I spent a good amount of time in there, taking classes and visiting professors’ office hours. But other than how it looked, or how downright confusing it was to navigate inside, I didn’t think much into the history of the building.

Blodgett Hall Vassar College

Blodgett Hall Vassar College

A gorgeous old stone structured tucked away on campus, Blodgett Hall looks (and sounds) like it is better suited for Hogwarts than Vassar College. The expansive academic building, complete with a beautiful neo-Gothic archway that opens to a lawn surrounded by the back of three wings of the building, is home to the sociology, anthropology, education, economics, psychology, and religion departments. The building has its own auditorium, as well as lab space for psych and anthro experiments. Outside, Blodgett looks like a well-designed boarding school but inside, it is…a mess. It is a labyrinth of tiers, halls, pseudo-floors, and staircases that is any freshman anthropology lecture student’s worst nightmare.

Now, the reason I say that I had not spent time thinking about the buildings’ namesakes is because, had I actually done so, I would have known that Lathrop House and, more importantly, Blodgett Hall were associated with two of the biggest names in the euthenics movement in America. Being that I was in and out of Blodgett during my junior and senior years of college, I had seen the plaque outside the auditorium that read: “This building dedicated to the study of euthenics is given to Vassar College by Minnie Cumnock Blodgett, Class of 1884, John Wood Blodgett to encourage the application of the arts and sciences to the betterment of human living” …but I didn’t really have a sense of what this meant. Messages like these were plastered everywhere on a campus that boasted progressive reform and critical thought. But euthenics, which per the definition conferred by its founder, Ellen Swallow Richards (a Vassar grad), is “the study of the betterment of living conditions through conscious endeavor, for the purpose of securing efficient human beings” took this trend in a new direction, with Vassar at the forefront.

Euthenics, of course, is not to be confused with eugenics, the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. Though, make no mistake – eugenics seems to have reared its ugly head within the walls of Vassar College, too. Upon registering for a course called “Fundamentals of Conditioning,” the department administrative assistant, herself a Vassar grad, informed me that she, too, had taken the course when she was a student. She then let me in on this gruesome detail: in her day, the course was required for all students, which included a mandatory nude photo shoot at the beginning. This was reportedly used to evaluate their application of the skills garnered in the class, but actually may have been used for a study rooted in the eugenics movement that linked body type to racial superiority (https://vcencyclopedia.vassar.edu/student-organizations/athletics/posture-and-photographs.html).

Back to euthenics — Good ‘ol Minnie Blodgett, a trustee with a lot of money and an urge to put it to use at her alma mater, decided to invest in dedicating a building (and course of study along with it) to euthenics with a keen focus on the American family as a way to achieve the desired betterment of society. After disclosing that she had almost lost her first baby due to her lack of awareness around infant feeding, Minnie Blodgett asserted that young women – college grads included – lacked awareness around child nurturing and family welfare (Daniels, “The Disappointing First Thrust of Euthenics”). Blodgett said, “Although I had a classical education and was a college graduate, I had no information whatever along the lines of motherhood and training.” So she established the Minnie Cumnock Blodgett Hall of Euthenics, with its very own new major to accompany its shiny new headquarters. This is where young Seven Sisters-trained women could come to learn the arts of domesticity and child rearing alongside their classmates studying classics, economics, or astronomy. This, perhaps, is why the building was crafted so strangely, as it had once been comprised of laboratory kitchens and bathrooms where Vassar girls could practice things like child-bathing and recipe

Ellen H. Swallow Richards

Ellen H. Swallow Richards

development.

Perhaps the endowment of several staff members’ salaries with Mrs. Blodgett’s generous donation helped spur the euthenics movement along on campus despite being seemingly at odds with Matthew Vassar’s intention for the college, but Minnie Cumnock Blodgett was not the sole voice pushing euthenics at Vassar (or in the world, for that matter). I mentioned before that the founder of euthenics, Ellen Swallow Richards, had, in fact, been a Vassar grad. Lathrop House was named after the father of Julia Lathrop, a Vassar graduate and the first female bureau chief of the Children’s Bureau of the US Department of Labor. Lathrop’s practice of euthenics was less about changing diapers and washing floors for the betterment of society, and more about public health and child welfare concerns. Under her leadership, birth certificates were established and stricter laws around child labor came to exist.

Despite a backing from some of its most influential alumnae at the end of the nineteenth century, the euthenics program didn’t have the staying power that Minnie Cumnock Blodgett or Julia Lathrop perhaps had hoped. After transforming its image and intent several times, it was eventually abandoned. The last vestiges of the program exist in pockets spread out over an array of majors and course studies at Vassar…and of course in those buildings in which their benefactors envisioned a space for praxis. As I think back on this moment in history and how it relates to the scholarship promoted by the Museum of Motherhood, I think it’s an easy connection to make. After all, “alma mater” translates most closely to “kind/nourishing mother.”

Sources: http://vcencyclopedia.vassar.edu/interviews-reflections/two-chapters/the-disappointing-first-thrust-of-euthenics.html

https://vcencyclopedia.vassar.edu/alumni/ellen-swallow-richards.htm

(*Note: when I started writing this piece, I didn’t wholly have a grasp on what the concept of euthenics entailed, thinking it to be only the narrow study of household economics. However, further reading/insight into Ellen Swallow Richards scholarship suggest that her vision of euthenics was much broader than just domestic studies and certainly less controversial than merely a home economics program in an educational institution that was intended to offer women the same education as men. I hope to further explore and highlight the potential social merits of Richards’ movement in a future post.)  Jenny Nigro – MOM Social Media Intern ’15