CFP: [General] Women's Studies Quarterly Mother Issue

full name / name of organization: 
Stacie McCormick
contact email: 

Call for Papers: MOTHER
Guest Editors: Nicole Cooley and Pamela Stone

We have entered a motherhood moment--from celebrity mom baby-bump
sightings to recent televised debates between “stay at home moms”
and “working moms,” from “welfare mothers” to “Alpha moms,” images of
motherhood are circulating in our culture as never before.

Motherhood demands a new look. As women push motherhood later and later,
as a larger share forego it entirely, and as mothering itself takes up a
smaller fraction of women’s lives, why is the fascination with all
things “mother” at an all-time high? What does it mean to be a mother
when motherhood is increasingly decoupled from biology? At a time when
women’s reproductive rights are vulnerable and the pro-choice movement on
the defensive, why is so much of the discussion about mothering framed in
the rhetoric of choice and agency? As the majority of mothers pursue
both family and paid employment, the “cultural contradictions” of
intensive mothering that sociologist Sharon Hays first identified over a
decade ago do indeed seem, to paraphrase writer/journalist Judith Warner,
an ever more “[im]perfect madness.”

This WSQ special issue invites feminist work that speaks to our current
historical moment in an effort to try to begin to construct a
comprehensive and critical overview of mothers, mothering, and
motherhood. We welcome academic papers from a variety of perspectives in
all disciplines, from theory, qualitative research, and empirical studies
to literary studies. We would also be interested in memoir and first-
person essays, fiction, poetry, art, and writing which blurs boundaries
and crosses genres in its exploration of mothering.

Topics to be explored include:

- Discourses around motherhood and how they are shaped by race,
ethnicity, immigrant status and sexuality

- Mothers in the workplace: The price of motherhood, “mommy tracking”
and “maternal wall,” “opting out”

- The “mommy wars”: Stay-at-home moms vs. working moms

- The paid and unpaid work of mothering and caregiving; the “second shift”

- Motherhood, loss and grief: Infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth and
infant and child death

- Motherhood and disability/special needs

- Intensive mothering: Ideologies and practices around co-sleeping,
breastfeeding, homeschooling and unschooling, toilet-training, tutoring

- Mothers as consumers: The marketing of motherhood

- Pregnancy: The medicalization of and birthing practices,
representations of the mother’s body, assisted reproductive technologies
(ART), surrogacy, abortion and reproductive choice

- New models of motherhood: LGBT moms, young moms, single mothers,
stepmothers and blended families

- Men as moms: Stay-at-home dads, coparenting, single fathers

- Immigration and motherhood; global labor chains

- Childcare and domestic labor: Practices, issues and politics

- Motherhood and ecofeminism, explorations of “mother nature”

- Mommy lit as its own brand of chick-lit and the new “dad” books

- Mothers and digital media: The role of mommy blogs, list-servs,
message boards and social networking sites

- Adoption: Transnational and domestic, transracial

- Motherhood and public policy: From debates about FMLA to activist
groups such as MomsRising

- Mothering older children, mothering adult children, grandmothering

- Motherhood and Third Wave Feminism

- The experiences of women who choose not to mother

- Mothering in comparative, global and transnational contexts

If submitting academic work, please send abstracts by September 30, 2008
to the guest editors Pamela Stone and Nicole Cooley at: If accepted:
Full papers should be no longer than 22 pages, and will be due by January
1, 2009.

Poetry submissions should be sent to WSQ's poetry editor Kathleen Ossip,
at, by January 1, 2009.

Fiction, essay, and memoir submissions should be sent to WSQ's
fiction/nonfiction editor, Susan Daitch, at by
January 1, 2009.

Art submissions should be sent to by January 1,
2009. Please keep in mind that after art is reviewed and accepted,
accepted art must be sent to the journal’s managing editor on a CD that
includes all artwork of 300 DPI or greater, saved as 4.25 inches wide or
larger. These files should be saved as individual JPEGS or TIFFS

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Received on Tue Jul 01 2008 - 09:04:24 EDT