Care(ful) Relationships Between Mothers and the Caregivers They Hire

deadline for submissions: 
June 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Demeter Press
contact email: 



Demeter Press is seeking submissions for an edited collection entitled:

Care(ful) Relationships Between Mothers and the Caregivers They Hire

Editors: Katie B. Garner, PhD and Andrea O’Reilly, PhD

Deadline for Abstracts: June 1, 2021


For as long as women have had children, there have been wetnurses, nannies, governesses, mammies, babysitters, and othermothers. Often the category of carework a woman “qualified” for has been shaped by her class, race, citizenship, language spoken, marital status, and level of education. The unique nature of this often-clandestine relationship reifies deep problems regarding differences grounded in class, race, religion, and cultural norms (to name a few).

As the reign of neoliberalism continues in the global North, childcare and eldercare are seldom simultaneously accessible, affordable, and high-quality. Globalization, however, has permitted many middle- and upper-class families to enact DIY government fixes by securing private care solutions via the labor of under-remunerated women from the global South who help care for the children and families in the global North. These hired caregivers are frequently mothers themselves and may have to leave their own families in order to provide essential economic support. Meanwhile, economies in the global South and global North rely on what Arlie Hochschild calls “the nanny chain” to keep their economies thriving.

As Joan Tronto argues in “The Nanny Question in Feminism,” outsourcing reproductive labor to other women can be problematic for feminists, while Caitlyn Flanagan claims domestic workers saved the U.S. women’s movement. But mixed within the deeply problematic nature of the carework field is thousands of individual relationships that may consist of reciprocal trust, guilt, indebtedness, anger, competition, jealousy, respect, and occasionally even love.

Papers from any relevant discipline will be reviewed. Topics may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Race-, class-, and/or culture-based tensions, oppressions, and education,
  • Literary, cultural, and media analysis,
  • Paradoxes of power in carework,
  • Romantic, sexual, and platonic contours of relationships,
  • Migration and analysis of space,
  • Policy/legal analysis, and
  • Efforts by mothers to politically organize around carework.

Submission Guidelines: Abstracts (350-400 words) with a 50-word biography (in single document) due June 1, 2021. Please include the word Demeter and then title of paper in subject line. Acceptances will be made by July 15, 2022. Completed manuscripts (15-18 pages double-spaced with references in MLA format) due Oct. 15, 2021. Please note, acceptance will depend on the strength and fit of the final piece. Inquiries and abstracts may be sent to: