CFP: Mothering in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Literature (9/5/05; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Elizabeth Podnieks
contact email: 

CFP: Mothering in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Literature

(09/05/2005; collection)

For an Edited Collection tentatively entitled

Textual Mothers, Maternal Texts:

Representations of Mothering in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century

edited by Andrea O'Reilly and Elizabeth Podnieks

The book is under contract with Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

We are seeking essays on the topic of Motherhood in Women's Literature
from the 20th and 21st Centuries. We welcome submissions on Fiction,
Poetry, Drama, and Life Writing (Diary, Memoir, Autobiography,

In 1976, Adrienne Rich broke new ground with her text Of Woman Born, in
which she challenged scholars to confront their tendency to avoid
discussions of motherhood, observing: "We know more about the air we
breathe, the seas we travel, than about the nature and meaning of
motherhood." Rich's book helped to launch the academic study of
mothering in literature, as evidenced by the publication of several key
texts: The Lost Tradition: Mothers and Daughters in Literature (1980),
Mother Puzzles: Daughters and Mothers in Contemporary American
Literature (1989), Women's Fiction Between the Wars: Mothers, Daughters,
and Writing (1998), and This Giving Birth: Pregnancy and Childbirth in
American Women's Writing (2000). A glance at this list reveals two
limitations: first, these studies tend to focus on mothering in terms of
mother-daughter relationships, ignoring the mother-son relationship;
second, they are directed almost exclusively at Anglo-American works of
fiction. We are planning a scholarly collection that will look at
mothering of both daughters and sons from a broad range of perspectives
and genres, including novels, poems, diaries, autobiographies, and
memoirs. We aim to include essays that will draw on literary, feminist,
theoretical, sociological, psychological, and biographical approaches to
how mothers, motherhood, and mothering are represented in British,
Canadian, Anglo-American, and World Literatures.


Abstracts (250-300 words) due September 5, 2005. Acceptances will be
made by the end of October, 2005. Accepted papers of approximately
15-20 pages will be due February 1, 2006.

Please send any inquiries and abstracts via email to BOTH=20

Andrea O'Reilly (York University) Liz Podnieks (Ryerson

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Received on Mon Jun 06 2005 - 16:31:20 EDT