RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2020


The borderlands of motherhood and academia

Research Group Affiliation(s)
Gender and Feminist Geographies Research Group
This session will explore the border between motherhood and academia, inviting papers engaging with research undertaken by academics applying the geographical lens to their experiences of motherhood, and the ways in which ‘geographer-mothers’ navigate the borderlands between academia and motherhood. The session highlights research undertaken about and within these borderlands.
As mothers ourselves, we have often shared how we think geographically about everyday encounters with children’s television, school performances and displays, navigating the urban environment and spaces of motherhood. Equally, we have shared stories of divergence and melding of academic and lifepaths, and the difficulties research at this intersection: navigating speed and slowness, the esoteric and the mundane, the cerebral and the bodily, excitement and monotony. Conversations amongst academic mothers on social media suggest we are not alone in this.

This research sometimes becomes part of our paid academic work, but often doesn’t. Consequently, this less formal research takes a back seat to our professional focus and becomes forgotten about or hidden, just as the motherwork itself is hidden. These issues can feel particularly urgent in certain periods: journeys through fertility, pregnancy, adoption, maternity leave. Because of the intense domestic labour required at these times, these ideas are often left unspoken, half-developed, overtaken by more ‘pressing’ work. This session provides space for mothers to share this work, bringing this informal labour into the open, providing an opportunity for these insights to be shared.

Papers are invited that engage with these themes. We also welcome alternative formats. In view of the focus of this session, and the inevitable unpredictability of disruptions that motherhood and caring brings, we also welcome papers under development.

Suggested themes (not exhaustive) include:
Children’s TV programmes
Spaces of motherhood
School experiences
Play and playfulness
Navigating the urban environment as a mother
Academic mother career paths and life stories
Instructions for Authors
We welcome submissions from people at all career stages. Please send an abstract (approx. 250 words) and expressions of interest to Karen Horwood (k.horwood@leedsbeckett.ac.uk) and Bronwen Edwards (b.edwards@leedbeckett.ac.uk) by 31 January 2020. Any queries please do get in touch.
To view the terms under which this email is distributed, please go to:-
Call For Papers Deadline
Only the session convenor/submitter may modify the Call for Papers. To edit the Call for Papers, please enter the passcode that was sent in the email when the Call For Papers was submitted, and click the "submit" button.