“Discourses on Motherhood” Conference

From Stabat Mater to Mater Movens:

Analysing Discourses on Motherhood

International Conference

29-30 June 2024

Birkbeck, University of London / Online

organised by

London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research

This conference aims at exploring motherhood and its diverse cultural representations, while interrogating the ways in which such representations impact on individual and collective experiences of motherhood. Thus, we attempt at examining motherhood both as a personal experience and as an institution, as well as observing the nuances involved in the interaction between both.

The conference seeks to encourage dialogue around cultural concepts of motherhood by observing the cultural roles that are given to maternal figures, the perspectives from which this experience is approached, and how these engage in dialogue with other current discourses such as politics, law and medicine.

By questioning traditional mother roles, challenging the myths and taboos associated with the reproductive body, and establishing dialogues with the personal and communal experience of motherhood, we hope to inspire more open and realistic discourses around a figure that is not only fundamental in our life experience but also constitutes one of the basic pillars that sustain our societies.

We invite papers on (but by no means limited to) the following areas:

  • Representations of motherhood in literature, cinema and TV
  • Mother as a Myth: motherhood in art and philosophy
  • Motherhood and law
  • The mother’s body and the body politic: the political instrumentalisation of motherhood
  • Motherhood and medicine: medicalising and pathologising women’s bodies
  • Surrogate motherhood and alternative forms of parenting
  • Motherhood and gender roles
  • Mothers under patriarchy: motherhood and ideology
  • The cons of motherhood: delaying, regretting or rejecting motherhood

The conference is addressed to academics, researchers and professionals who are interested in the conference topic. 

Proposals up to 250 words accompanied by a brief biographical note should be sent by 10 March 2024 to: motherhood@lcir.co.uk. Download Paper proposal form.

Registration fee (online participation) – 90 GBP

Registration fee (physical participation) – 150 GBP

Download Conference Programme

Register here