Essays for Edited Collection - "New Maternalisms": Tales of Motherwork

full name / name of organization: 
Demeter Press

Much research on motherhood has been published in the past eighteen years (e.g. Ruddick, 1995; O'Reilly, 2007; Kinser, 2008 & 2010; Klein & Chernick, 2011; Crittenden, 2010), suggesting an increased interest in and visibility and acknowledgement of feminism and the topic of motherhood. The literature is concerned with the invisibility of mothers and the labor of caregiving or "motherwork." Specifically, contemporary literature on motherhood is embedded in post-colonial and transnational scholarship in which motherhood scholars like Ruddick, Klein, and O'Reilly articulate "a new economy of collective caregiving and mutual exchange" (Klein, 2012). The works also reflect the changing structure of the family (e.g. same-sex relationships and assisted reproductive technology or ART). Drawing on artist Natalie S. Loveless' curation in Spring 2012 for FADO in Toronto, these shifts in the representation of motherhood in the literature may be regarded as "new maternalisms" (the title of Loveless' curation). Klein (2012) argues that "new maternalisms" expose "the fissures and cracks between the ideological representation of motherhood and the lived experiences of being a mother." This Call For Papers is in service to this in-between space connecting research and theory to the lived and everyday.

The purpose of this collection lies in focusing on "new maternalisms" by exploring "motherwork" or the invisible labor of caregiving in our everyday lived experiences as wo/men, hence including mothers, fathers, and caretakers and our communities. Here, the anthology serves to deconstruct motherhood by highlighting and dislodging it from maternal ideology, the socially-constructed "good mom" (read as "sacrificial mom") and feminized hegemonic discourse. The objective of the edited volume, then, is to critically explore how wo/men experience "motherwork," what "motherwork" means to us, and how "motherwork" impacts and is impacted by the communities in which we live. This involves contesting dominant ways of thinking about motherhood.

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

1. What caregiving practices are pursued in "motherwork"? How have these practices been shaped by factors such as nation, religion, gender, and other axes of difference? 2. How do caregivers frame/understand their "motherwork"? 3. What alliances do caregivers build locally, regionally, and internationally, and why? What factors have caused rifts or fissures between and among caregivers? 4. To what extent does caregiving intersect with other forms of activism/resistance? 5. How have wo/men's identities as caregivers been disrupted or shaped by binaries, such as east/west, north/south? 6. Whose agency is privileged or obscured within "motherwork"? 7. How do global discourses shape local "motherwork," and, how, in turn, do local issues and frames shape global discourses around "motherwork"?

This Call For Papers signals the important sociological and anthropological shifts taking place in the field of motherhood as it relates to wo/men – mothers, fathers, and caretakers – who are marginalized through "motherwork." What do the voices of marginalized persons have to say? And, how can they insert themselves into a story in which their experiences have a fuller role to play locally, nationally, and globally? New maternalisms begin to answer such questions by focusing on the roles of wo/men in the sphere of motherhood.

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts: 500 words. Please include a 50-word biographic note.

Deadline for abstracts is January 1, 2015.

Please send submissions and inquiries directly to: Dr. Roksana Badruddoja, and Dr. Maki Motapanyane,
Accepted papers of 4000-5000 words (15-20 pages) will be due February 1, 2015 and should conform to Chicago style.