CALL FOR PAPERS: Beyond Mothering Myths? Motherhood in the Age of Neoliberalism & Individualisation

If you are interested in being considered as a presenter, Please send a 200-word abstract and a 50-word bio by 1 March 2019 to amirci2019@gmail.com

This conference (to be held in Sydney in July) will explore, examine, critique, theorise, and respond to key issues related to mothering in the contemporary globalised world, with a focus on neoliberalism, individualisation, and the emergence of new technologies. How motherhood is experienced, constructed, and contested in contemporary society has been conceptualised in numerous ways since Rich’s (1976) foundational work on the ‘institution’ of motherhood. These include ‘intensive mothering ideology’ (Hays, 1996), ‘the new momism’ (Douglas & Michaels, 2004), and the ‘good mother’ concept (Goodwin & Huppatz) among various others. Yet, old myths of motherhood continue to be perpetuated and mothers continue to face stigmatization and marginalization. This conference is interested in the ways motherhood exists today within social, cultural, political, and economic milieus that prioritise neoliberal and individualistic ideals, while simultaneously maintaining the expectations of intensive mothering. Topics include but are not limited to: how motherhood and individualism impact on identity, agency, self-care, and subjectivity; mothering in response to new technologies and online worlds; maternal activism and advocacy; embodied motherwork including pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding; motherhood and paid employment/volunteering; mothering of young adults and/or ageing parents; motherhood and disability; understanding family violence including surveillance and judicial systems. Submissions are welcome from, but are not limited to, scholars, students, activists, community workers, bloggers, mothers, and others who research, work or are interested in this area of scholarly and social activism.

Topics for the conference include but are not limited to:

  • how motherhood and new technologies impact on identity, agency, and self-care
  • mothering in response to new technologies and online worlds
  • maternal activism and advocacy
  • embodied mother-related work such as pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding
  • motherhood and paid employment/volunteering
  • mothering of young adults and/or ageing parents
  • motherhood and disability
  • understanding family violence including surveillance and judicial systems.

Papers presented would be 20 minutes long plus a 10 minute discussion time directly after the presentation.

To present at this conference, Australians and New Zealanders must be a member of AMIRCI. International candidates must be a member of MIRCI

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