Workshop on Motherhood

An Interdisciplinary Roundtable
“Motherhood and Related Gender: Civil, National, and Transnational Issues”

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
3:00-5:00 pm
Brooks Hall, 2nd floor conference room

Dr. Allison Alexy, “Mothers, Citizenship, and the Japanese State”
In this short presentation I describe how contemporary constructions of maternity figure into international child custody disputes involving Japanese citizens. Increasingly fraying U.S.-Japan relations, these conflicts highlight legal and social formations of citizenship enacted through families and familial idioms.

Dr. Charlotte Patterson, “Child Development in Lesbian- and Gay-Parented Families”
My research focuses on the psychology of sexual orientation, with an emphasis on sexual orientation, human development, and family lives. In the context of my research, I have worked with children, adolescents, couples, and families.

Viktoryia Kalesnikava, “Division of labor or labor of division? SOS Children’s Villages in Russia and Australia”
SOS Children’s Villages is a transnational NGO that deals with orphan and abandoned children. In my talk, I will focus on motherhood as a key aspect of their model of care Specifically, I will bring to the foreground the seemingly unreconciled divide between motherhood as a profession or vocation situated at the very heart of what it means to be an SOS mother. This division unsettles both a category of motherhood and employment, undermining familiar understandings thereof. What is a good mother and a good employee?

Dr. Ann Booker Loper, “Parenting on the Inside”
As the number of US prisoners has grown during the past 30 years, so too has grown the number of incarcerated parents. Likewise, we are seeing a burgeoning cohort of individuals who are separated from their imprisoned mother or father during childhood. For mothers in prison, the separation from children can be the single most difficult trial of imprisonment. Over half of US imprisoned mothers have no personal visits with children during incarceration –often a stark contrast to daily previous contact. Our research has examined the impact of this experience for mothers in terms of stress and adjustment to prison. My talk will briefly describe this research as well as some of our intervention efforts to improve mother-child connections in this group.

Dr. Caren Freeman, “The Moral Conundrums of Migrant Motherhood”
My talk considers the geographically-dispersed family configurations that Chosǒnjok mothers in northeastern China pursue in order to take advantage of their ethnic connections to South Korea and its labor market. As Chosǒnjok mothers negotiate the unchartered waters of transnational family-making, they provoke certain internal debates and moralizing discourses about the proper role of wives and mothers. By exploring the cultural and moral dilemmas surrounding Chosǒnjok women’s decisions to labor on behalf of their families in South Korea, I hope to draw attention to the ways in which patterns of migration shape and are shaped by notions of gender, conjugality and motherhood.

Refreshments will be served. All are welcome!

Sponsored by the Center on Critical Human Survival Issues, Anthropology Dept. Brooks Hall

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