From the FLP mailbox, this call for papers for a special “MOTHER” issue of the Women’s Studies Quarterly:
Guest Editors: Nicole Cooley and Pamela Stone
We have entered a motherhood moment–from celebrity mom baby-bump sightings to recent televised debates between “stay at home moms” and “working moms,”
from “welfare mothers” to “Alpha moms,” images of motherhood are circulating in our culture as never before.
Motherhood demands a new look. As women push motherhood later and later, as a larger share forego it entirely, and as mothering itself takes up a smaller fraction of women’s lives, why is the fascination with all things “mother” at an all-time high? What does it mean to be a mother when motherhood is increasingly decoupled from biology? At a time when women’s reproductive rights are vulnerable and the pro-choice movement on the defensive, why is so much of the discussion about mothering framed in the rhetoric of choice and agency? As the majority of mothers pursue both family and paid employment, the “cultural contradictions” of intensive mothering that sociologist Sharon Hays first identified over a decade ago do indeed seem, to paraphrase writer/journalist Judith Warner, an ever more “[im]perfect madness.”
This *WSQ* special issue invites feminist work that speaks to our current historical moment in an effort to try to begin to construct a comprehensive and critical overview of mothers, mothering, and motherhood. We welcome academic papers from a variety of perspectives in all disciplines, from theory, qualitative research, and empirical studies to literary studies. We would also be interested in memoir and first-person essays, fiction, poetry, art, and writing which blurs boundaries and crosses genres in its exploration of mothering. * * *
If submitting academic work, please send abstracts by September 30, 2008 to the guest editors Pamela Stone and Nicole Cooley at: WSQMotherIssue@gmail.com. Full papers should be no longer than 22 pages, and will be due by January 1, 2009.