CFP:Motherhood and creative practice: Maternal structures in creative work

09 December, 2014

First Announcement and Call for Papers

Motherhood and creative practice:

Maternal structures in creative work

June 1-2, 2015

Centre for Media and Culture Research, School of Arts and Creative Industries, London South Bank University

Confirmed Key Note Speakers:

Prof Bracha L. Ettinger, Marcel Duchamp Chair & Professor of Psychoanalysis and Art at the European Graduate School

Professor Mary Kelly Distinguished Professor and Head of the Interdisciplinary Studio Area in the Department of Art at UCLA
Professor Faith Wilding Professor Emerita of Performance at SAIC; and a Visiting Scholar at the Pembroke Center for Feminist Research at Brown University, Providence, RI


Motherhood and creative practices: Maternal structures in creative work is an international and interdisciplinary conference that addresses ongoing debates about hospitality, solidarity and encounter as concepts in creative practice, and how they relate to contemporary issues of mothering. Mothering involves commitment to creative balance and combining everyday chores. We are interested how practitioners combine art and mothering, activism and mothering, academia and mothering, science and mothering, mothering and allomothering. The conference will look at practices where the creative exploration, writing and theory about the mOther cannot be separated from one another. Ettinger reveals the intricate connections between critical theory on maternal and creative practice. According to Vigneault, the porous spaces of work that engages with the maternal as concept presents passageways which allow the viewer and reader to move through and between the various levels of text and image, theory and art, in a constant shift between modes of production (2009:69). There is a gradual, yet sustained increase in creative practices which, starting from the challenges posed by the above concepts, explore the maternal in various encounter-event formations. The conference will also look into diametrically opposed female experiences and sexual lifestyles and explore the encounters of infertility, medical intervention, adoption and fostering, queer mothering and childlessness by choice or not. We invite scholars and artists to also explore the creative embodiment of intergenerational trauma and the complex territory of mother-daughter relationships, and bring into dialogue social, scientific and artistic perspectives.

The conference will also encompass the exhibition “Alternative Maternals” curated by Laura Gonzalez, a curated performance section led by Faith Wilding’s performative reading of her memoirs, and a post-graduate discussion room. The post-graduate room will be enriched with performative texts, films, visual and audio works.

This conference aims to reflect on theoretical, methodological and artistic work that may throw light on mOthering as/and creative practice. We welcome submissions from scholars, students, artists, mothers and others who research in this area. Cross-cultural, interdisciplinary and comparative work is encouraged. We are open to a variety of submissions including academic papers from all disciplines and creative submissions including visual art, literature, and performance art/performative lectures. We invite papers in English of 15 minutes length, with possible topics including but are not restricted to the above description.

We welcome abstracts and proposals for practice-based,creative presentations (300 – 400 words + up to 3 images for practical presentations) on a broad range of approaches to the above and related topics. Abstract and Proposals are to be submitted no later than February 20th, 2015, to Dr Elena Marchevska using the following email:  Proposers will be informed by 5 March 2015 whether their proposal has been accepted.

Conference Registration

Registration for conference will open online on 20 February 2015.

Full Conference Early Bird (by 1 May) £120.00

Full Conference £180.00

Full Conference Postgraduate/Unwaged £65.00

Day Rate Monday 1st June only £80.00

This conference is supported by the Center for Media and Culture Research and the School of Arts and Creative Industries at London South Bank University.


Conference organized by Dr Elena Marchevska, London South Bank University and Prof Valerie Walkerdine, Cardiff University

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