Other Mothers: Non-Traditional Mothering in the Academy

deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Kristen A. Hoffman / St. John's University
contact email: 

DEADLINE EXTENDED: With such a wonderful response to this call, I've decided to extend the deadline by one month, because there are so many women who have important stories to tell.

This call solicits essays for a critical collection provisionally titled, Other Mothers. The book seeks to update scholarship on mothers-in-the-academy from both critical perspectives on maternal theory as well as sociological frameworks. "Other mothers" might include mothers who have adopted, mothers who do not have custody of their children, women who have experienced fertility challenges, surrogate mothers, mothers utilizing surrogates, mothers with chronically ill children, mothers grieving the loss of children, and all other minority groups who face challenges outside the scope of traditional white, heterosexual, cisgender motherhood who have previously framed this discourse (in texts such as Mama PhDMaternal Theory, etc). Although well-intentioned, these previous approaches to mothering have tended to focus on ideals of motherhood which fewer and fewer women experience. This project seeks to broaden the scope of current scholarship to include mothers who are not typically well represented, experiences such as those described in Maggie Nelson's Argonauts.

In an effort to complicate Andrea O’Reilly’s claim that “motherhood is male-defined and controlled and oppressive to women, while the word mothering refers to women’s experiences of mothering, which are female-defined and potentially empowering to women” this collection will seek to update definitions of “mother” and examine the challenges mothers face in academe, beginning with their role as students and culminating in their tenured employment.

As a researcher in this area, I am currently seeking a university press for this project as well as potential critical collaborators. Feel free to email with questions and ideas as well as abstracts, and I look forward to talking with you. 

Submission Information:

  • Email a 500-750 word abstract by April 15, 2019 to the editor.
  • Include author name(s), contact information including author affiliation, address, email, and telephone number.
  • Notification of acceptance by May 15, 2019.
  • Completed chapters submitted by September 1, 2019.
    • Completed chapters should be no more than 20 pages total.
    • Follow MLA 8th edition style for citations and references.