Feb. 14, 2015

What about this spin — instead of trying to create a field, which is ever so amorphous and all that — what about creating a journal? I don’t think there is such a thing right?  We have journal BIRTH, we have lots of ‘family’ but is there a scholarly, peer reviewed journal of motherhood studies?
It’d be based on all the same logic of showing the history, the interdisciplinarity, the increasing interest in the field — and you can write a proposal for an academic journal.  I can put you in touch with a couple of people who have actually started journals.  It seems to me that would be WAY more focused and do-able.
You’re not going to convince the GC, for example, to start a new interdisciplinary field.  You’d need the faculty to do that and it’s just not here.  But a journal?  You could propose that to publishers, have a real crack at pulling it off.
What do you think of that idea?



From: Martha Joy Rose [marthajoyrose@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, February 14, 2015 5:44 PM
To: KatzRothman, Barbara
Subject: Re: a thought on your project/ RESPONSES – Thank You!


I am deeply grateful that your smart mind is spending time wrestling with these ideas.

Academic journal-wise, there is currently only Andrea O’Reilly’s JMI: http://www.motherhoodinitiative.org/journalmotherhoodinitiative.html specifically related to mothers, motherhood, and mothering. At least that’s all that I could find. So, I guess that’s a good argument for more. I found a couple of health-related “maternal journals” [Link], and there is of course “Working Mother Magazine.” (which is for-profit) and lots of creative mother literary projects (some of which I have worked on). My friend Dr. Aurelie Athan created the Maternal Psychology Lab at Columbia, and I think she’s hoping to get a journal of the ground atKHORAI?
I did some quick searching for “gender” journals too and there might be something, somewhere in here?
You wrote: “But a journal?  You could propose that to publishers, have a real crack at pulling it off.” Do you mean propose such a thing to a place like Project Muse for example?
Your guidance on this would be invaluable. I would like to know more about how this works. I can see you trying to help me, and I am so grateful!! Although I have some experience in publishing, I have no experience in the Academic Journal world. (Although I am sitting on the board for JMI this March, and so I’ll know a lot more after that). How does it work specifically?
1. Would I make an argument for a Journal on Mothers, Motherhood, and Mothering in my thesis?
2. Then submit the idea to existing journals? What would happen then? What is the process? They say, “sure” great idea. And, then?
3. Or, create a journal proposal and website for my thesis like what Andrea and JMI have done?
4. Don’t universities publish Journals for the most part? Would this be something that CUNY might be interested in?
So, yes. This might be a great direction for a thesis and then the possibility is there to turn it into a Digital Humanities project as well, which simply means, build an online portal for capturing submissions through the Academic Commons? Or, even make a proposal for an interactive journal.
So much is being done now with online publishing. I know Planned Obsolescence a NYU press project by Kathleen Fitzpatrick was written and distributed online with peer feedback and then published. Also, there’s  Matt Gold’s Debates in the Digital Humanities which is an interactive online collection of articles.
I am just stumbling around with a response to your excellent idea. Can you spell out a little more for me, about the process?
Thank you so much…..
Below is the e-mail I’d started to write you as a “weekly report” before you sent me this latest idea.
Responses I was going to send you based on my meetings last week.
1) Thesis wise, I met with two other professors who thought the idea of the literary review was a brilliant way to go! There are a lot of collections, but no reviews per see. Also, if I go that route then I don’t have to do anything but demonstrate what already exists.
Example: Maternal Theory, by Andrea O’Reilly; Theory on mothers, mothering and motherhood has emerged as a distinct body of knowledge within Motherhood Studies and Feminist Theory more generally. This collection, the first ever anthology on maternal theory, introduces readers to this rich and diverse tradition of maternal theory. Composed of 50 chapters and covering more than three decades of scholarship, Maternal Theory includes all the must read theorists on motherhood. Writers include: Adrienne Rich, Nancy Chodorow, Sara Ruddick, Alice Walker, Barbara Katz Rothman, bell hooks, Sharon Hays, Patricia Hill-Collins, Julia Kristeva, Kim Anderson, Audre Lorde, Ellen Lewin, Daphne de Marneffe, Ariel Gore, Ann Crittenden, Judith Warner and many more. Maternal Theory is essential reading for anyone interested in motherhood as experience, ideology, and identity.
2) I met with Elizabeth Mcaulay Lewis and I can submit my thesis to them in late August which means I would get it to you by mid-July for any comments. Then submit final to you August 1 and you’d have to sign off on it before it goes to Elizabeth and Matt for approval. Requirements are here.
3) The idea of a weekly summary of work and ideas means that I can use this semester to work though the kinds of things we’re talking about now, rather than being left all alone, weaving a path in the “wrong” direction at a later time.
Respond when you can.
In Gratitude,

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