2012-2013 Call for Papers


(Un)Gendering Motherhood

Truman’s Eighteenth Annual Women’s and Gender Studies (WGST) Conference

January 31 – February 2, 2013


Adrienne Rich’s path-breaking book, Of  Woman Born (1976), argues for the social construction of motherhood in that mothering practices, constraints, and feelings take shape in a particular historical and political context. The (Un) Gendering Motherhood conference invites proposals addressing all the possible meanings of the expression, including analyses both of motherhood as an institution and of the varied experiences of people who mother, regardless of gender, sexuality, etc.


Possible topics may include but need not be limited to

–personal testimonies by mothers, however defined;

–exploration of biographies, autobiographies, novels, plays, or movies that focus on mothers or motherhood;

–cultural criticism of mass media portrayals of mothers;

–an examination of how mothers are socially defined as “good” or “bad”;

–a discussion of the relationship between motherhood and womanhood;

–art criticism of paintings, drawings, or sculpture by mothers, as mothers, or portraying mothers;

–performances of music, readings, or presentations of visual works by mothers or about mothers;

–an exploration of the ways in which a particular institution may accommodate or fail to accommodate the needs of mothers;

–a cross-cultural look at the expectations of and opportunities for women who are mothers;

–new biological findings or new understandings of biological difference that sheds light on the experiences of mothers;

–theoretical perspectives on motherhood, including the question of who counts as a mother.

The Women’s and Gender Studies Conference Committee invites abstracts from all members of the Truman and Kirksville communities, including Truman graduates now residing elsewhere. Please send abstracts to WGSTconference@truman.edu. Be sure to include your name, abstract title, return address, phone number, and e-mail address. Deadline: November 16, 2012.