Final conference

Call for papers

The title that we have chosen for our conference is ‘Thinking Through Motherhood: Images, Experiences and Narratives Across Time’. Subsequently, we are interested in hearing from scholars who would like to present on historical definitions and experiences of mothers, those who are working on contemporary representations of motherhood and, finally, academics whose research focuses on future possibilities for and configurations of motherhood. Through our panels, we would like to trace what we might term ‘a temporality of motherhood’ that takes account of the fluctuating and also pluralistic nature of mothering experiences, in stark contrast to more rigid definitions that tend to essentialise motherhood and posit it as homogenous, static and innate. The scope of the conference is interdisciplinary and we invite colleagues from all disciplines to consider how their work interconnects with narratives of motherhood. Specific disciplines that we would like to see represented at the conference include, but are not limited to, the following: Literature; Screen Studies; Media Studies; Gender Studies; Psychology; History; Sociology; Anthropology; Medicine; Health Care; Sociolinguistics; Law; Cultural Studies; Business Studies.

The conference will include a two-part Postgraduate Symposium. The first part, open to the postgraduate students attending the conference, will consist of a workshop on interdisciplinary publishing and collaboration. The second part will be the panel ‘Motherhood as Experience and Institution’, delivered by the MotherNet Early Stage Researchers.

Below is a list of themes that we would encourage you to reflect on when preparing the abstract/panel.

Submission guidelines

Participants should submit a 250-word abstract plus a 50-word biography in English by 10 October 2023. All papers will be delivered in English. Participants can choose to send an individual abstract or to propose a closed panel of 3-4 speakers. Most sessions / panels will be 90-120 minutes in length.

Closed panels: these are pre-arranged panels and are not open for paper proposals during the Call for papers. Interdisciplinary panels are particularly welcome.

Roles: each individual may convene a closed panel once OR be a discussant in the panel once. However, an individual may present up to two papers at the conference.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Professor Pragya Agarwal (Loughborough University, United Kingdom), Lucy Jones (writer, journalist, United Kingdom), Professor Valerie Heffernan (Maynooth University, Ireland), Associate Professor Eglė Kačkutė (Vilnius University, Lithuania).


  • Theories of Motherhood
  • Transgressive Motherhood
  • Motherhood and Marginality
  • Oppressive Motherhood
  • Maternal Utopias and Dystopias
  • Maternal Regret
  • Choosing to be Childfree
  • Motherhood and Language
  • Motherhood and Mental Health
  • Mothers in the Workplace
  • Motherhood and Disability
  • Motherhood and Time
  • Motherhood and Creativity
  • Motherhood and the Health Sciences
  • Future Motherhood(s)
  • Motherhood and Media
  • Motherhood in Literature
  • Motherhood on Screen
  • Generational Mothering
  • Maternal Bereavement

All submissions should be uploaded online via Conftool abstracts management tool.
Please note that abstracts submitted via email, post, or fax will not be considered.