Feb. 26, 2015

On Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 2:26 PM, Maria Jerskey <mjerskey@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi, Joy!

As for comments, etc.

  1. What is DH?
  2. I don’t understand the reading list. Who is it for? It looks like several lists. Is it? (I remember us talking about an annotated bibliography. Is this your point of departure? Maybe it’s the compulsive in me, but I would alphabetize and set up citations according to either MLA or APA (probably APA). I think if I saw your annotated bibliography, I’d have a better sense of what Motherhood Studies is. [Motherhood Studies Reading List]
  3. The JourMS: Not sure what you’re looking for from me, and I don’t have time to read deeply, but: The beginning paragraphs don’t tell me much. There are a number of “buzz” words: explore, interpretation, performance, everyday life, perspective, etc., that sound academic, but don’t let me know where I’d connect. What do you want to say about “motherhood” through this journal? Can you use more specific language? (Is there a journal that emulates what you’d like to do with JourMH?) I’m looking for the heart, the core, the passion behind this field, this journal.

To be continued,

On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 1:47 PM, Martha Joy Rose <marthajoyrose@gmail.com> wrote:

Maria – Welcome Back from exotic Morocco.

I am beginning work on my thesis. But, first, I have to invent a whole new field of study, or more accurately collect what currently exists of it. Mother Studies is already being taught, but it has not been formalized within the academy. My thesis advisor has encouraged me to create (and implement; because I am DH) an American Journal of Mother Studies.  The text below represent my current thoughts on the matter. I welcome any feedback whatsoever, and am very grateful. (it is here in the body of the e-mail and also as an attachment. I’ve also attached a booklist. If you have additional recommendations, those are welcome too).



JourMS and Motherhood Studies

The JourMS (Journal of Mother Studies) is a peer reviewed, international, scholarly journal for Mother Studies and the annual MOM Academic Conference. Our mission is to explore the interpretations and performance of everyday life from the m/otherness perspective, which is to say the relational/connected/disconnected experience. Articles focus on the interdisciplinary humanities, which include arts, history, culture, the social sciences, women’s and gender studies, literary studies, anthropology, the folkloric, psychology, the digital humanities, and media studies. We encourage dialogue between varying fields and welcome feminist critiques of race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, technology, media, public heath, and nation. The Journal also features book reviews about forthcoming works.

Mother Studies Theory – Motherhood Studies is a post-modern critical field that identifies a nexus of m/otherness as a determining force of action and expression. While many academic interpretations including (psychology and sociology) acknowledge the relational status of human beings, Mother Studies focuses on the lived experience within a variety of circumstances with attention to the procreative, creative, and long-term experience and its transformative nature. This is determined by the making/dividing, connection/disconnection status of procreation, adoption, surrogacy and caregiving. The folkloric, cultural, and paradoxical nature of being made and unmade is paramount, as is the examination of me=other, or me vs. other, or m/other; from one who another has sprung, or is nurtured, is a complex and compelling notion that confounds logical expression. Therefore, Mother Studies attempts to disentangle a set of circumstances that pose formidable challenges on every level. Key to the theory is the necessity of asking, how does m/otherness; one who is part of you, connected to you; or you; who are part of another, or intrinsically connected to another — motivate action in a world conceived by relation as opposed to alienation informed by exterior, institutionalized, hierarchical constructions.

Mother Studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines interpretations and experiences of motherhood navigated within social and cultural constructions. Academic courses in sociology, history, literature, popular culture, anthropology and psychology focus on procreation, birth, caregiving, mothering, fathering, maternal health, grief and loss, as well as women in society. LGBT perspectives, issues of adult children, surrogacy, adoption, other mothers, and non-parents are also explored, as are social and political policies, ensuring a diverse and comprehensive curriculum.

As a new area of academic study Mother Studies pays specific attention to issues as they pertain to gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, and ability, as well as examining the history of euthenics, home economics, and feminism in America. Mother Studies encourages critical thinking and facilitates an analysis of the problematic inequalities women and mothers have historically faced. Mother Studies offers a powerful way to revise how see ourselves in the world and offers a dynamic vehicle for intellectual transformation within the parent/partner/citizen/child paradigm.

Mother Studies is housed at the Museum of Mother, which offers online courses. The museum draws its faculty from all disciplines in the humanities and social sciences and provides rigorous training. Coursework is dynamic and conveys a broad survey of the history, theory, and praxis of this emerging field. Portions of Motherhood Studies are housed within the digital humanities, and are free and open-sourced. We invite collaboration and encourage wide discussion of the topics presented. Students receive a certificate upon completion of the program.

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