Deadline Extended! Exploring Motherly Instincts: Representation of Mothers in Indian Cinema

deadline for submissions: 
March 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Cafe Dissensus

Issue 62: April 2022: Exploring Motherly Instincts: Representation of Mothers in Indian Cinema [Last date for submission: 30 March, 2022; Date of publication: 1 May, 2022]

Guest-Editor: Srija Sanyal, Research Scholar, Ronin Institue, USA.


In this round of Call for Submissions, we are particulalrly seeking audio/visual presentations (in forms of interviews / conversations) of no more than 20 minutes in duration and personal narratives, along with general articles pertaining to the theme. Additonally, articles dealing with films in languages, such as Assamese, Oriya, Marathi, Kannada, Telegu, Bhojpuri, and Konkani are especially welcomed.


Concept Note:

The figure of the mother has always been glorified and depicted in black and white without shades of grey. However, time and again filmmakers and academic thinkers have strived to push this conventional depiction to accommodate various layers associated with the concept of motherhood, as they have sought to challenge the simplistic representation of mothers in popular media. It is important to explore the maternal world further in this highly digitized, globalized and gender-neutral environment. This proposed issue of Café Dissensus aims to curate a collection of essays on the representation of mothers in films that go beyond the stereotypical portrayal of motherhood as epitomized in the figures of Nirupa Roy and Rakhee Gulzar in conventional Bollywood style, showing unconditional love toward her offspring. The proposed issue welcomes submissions on the following themes (though not limited to them):

  • Queerness and motherhood
  • Good vs. bad mothers
  • Evolution of the representation of mothers in cinema
  • Modern women and motherhood
  • Reimagining the domestic space
  • Masculinity and motherhood
  • Professional/foster mothers
  • Working mothers
  • Surrogacy, pregnancy and infertility
  • Goddesses and divinity associated with motherhood

Submission should be approximately 2000-2500 words. Please do provide a brief bio at the end of your piece. Since the magazine is geared toward both academic and non-academic readers, the citations within the body of the articles must be minimal, in the form of the name of an author or an idea, etc. 

Please email your submissions to and with the subject line ‘Submissions – Exploring Motherly Instincts’ for consideration.