Call for participants – Mum’s the Word: The maternal in contemporary literature – deadline 1 December 2008

MaMSIE (Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics),
School of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London and the
Faculty of Humanities, De Montfort University
Friday, 9 January, 2009

Call for participants
mamsiedmu [at]

This day-long workshop aims to provide an interdisciplinary space to map, debate and discuss configurations of maternal in contemporary literature. It will combine invited keynote speakers with a call for participants. Topics may include:
• the analysis and exploration of developing genres such as the ‘momoir’ and other autobiographical approaches to writing maternal experience and their intersections with auto/biography and life writing as feminist research strategies;
• the politics of the transformation from chick-lit to mum-lit;
• shifting representations of ‘bad mothers’ in literature from the 1970’s to the present;
• assisted reproductive technologies in relation to feminist utopias;
• literary engagements with cloning and the ‘end’ of generation;
• literatures of pregnancy and birth including literatures of ‘failed’ maternity;
• the maternal in digital fiction and other digital genres such as blogging

‘Mums the word’ represents the fourth event in a series hosted by MaMSIE which creates spaces for interdisciplinary conversations about the maternal across different knowledge and practice communities including feminism, psychoanalysis, social science, philosophy, visual and performance art and literature and creative writing. MaMSIE aims to open up and sustain critical debates about the maternal understood in its ethicopolitical, psychosocial, relational and practice dimensions and explore the unique site the maternal occupies at the potent intersection between scientific possibilities, psychosocial practices and cultural representations.

This workshop is designed to provide interdisciplinary spaces for discussion rather than the formal presentation of papers. We are therefore asking prospective participants to submit 250 words describing their work and their interest in the themes of the workshop so that the organizers can group participants into coherent panels and discussion groups.

If you would like to respond to this call for participants, please send your 250-word description to by 1 December, 2008.

‘Mum’s the Word’ will take place at De Montfort University, Leicester, on 9 January, 2009. Registration will cost £30/£10 for students. Lunch will be provided.