Mothers Who Kill/Infanticide

deadline for submissions: 
January 11, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Demeter Press


Demeter Press

is seeking submissions for an edited collection entitled

Mothers Who Kill/ Infanticide

Editors: Charlotte Beyer, University of Gloucestershire, UK

Josephine Savarese, St. Thomas University, New Brunswick, Canada 

Deadline for Abstracts: November 1, 2017

The idea of a mother killing her child to many presents the greatest taboo, and the most disturbing and upsetting aspect of maternal experience.  In Toni Morrison’s 1987 novel Beloved, escaped slave mother Sethe addresses her daughter Beloved whom she murdered out of desperation, in order to avoid her returning to a life of slavery and sexual abuse. Sethe reflects, “I'll explain to her, even though I don't have to. Why I did it. How if I hadn't killed her she would have died and that is something I could not bear to happen to her. When I explain it she'll understand.”  Are mothers who kill inevitably represented as monsters in our culture?  Or are there certain contexts that may urge us to reevaluate maternal behavior?  

This anthology will examine the complex issues of infanticide and mothers who kill from a broad, interdisciplinary perspective. We welcome contributions which explore infanticide and mothers who kill from literary, psychological, biological, socioeconomic, criminological, artistic, film and media perspectives, and more. We also welcome contributions which examine the criminalization of mothers who kill and analyses of case law/legal judgements, and cases of mothers who have been wrongfully accused or convicted. Through the incorporation of a variety of disciplines and methodologies as well as creative practice, we aim to promote a wide range of work on infanticide and mothers who kill.

Contributions which address race/ethnicity, age, dis/ability, class, gender and sexual identity in relation to infanticide and mothers who kill are encouraged. We welcome both academic and practically-oriented contributions, as well as creative work such as poetry and short stories.

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

Maternal murderers, infanticide; historical accounts; maternal serial killers; mental illness and mothers who kill; documentary and true crime accounts; the maternal body and infanticide; miscarriages of justice, including mothers who have been wrongfully accused or convicted; creative and artistic representations of mothers who kill, infanticide and child murder; and more.

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts/Proposals (250-400 words) with a 50-word biography due:  November 1, 2017.

Acceptances made by: January 31, 2018

Completed manuscripts (15-18 pages double-spaced, references in MLA format) will be due: 1 August, 2018.

Please send inquiries and abstracts to editors Charlotte Beyer and Josephine Savarese at:


140 Holland St. West, P.O. Box 13022 Bradford, ON L3Z 2Y5 (tel) 905-775-5215