Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Call for Papers

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Demeter Press is seeking submissions for an edited collection on Queering Parenting

Publication Date: Spring 2011
Editors: Susan Driver and Zoë Newman

A proliferation of experientially based essays, media stories, documentary films, television profiles, photographic essays and do-it-yourself manuals featuring lesbian mothers and gay dads have emerged to mark out cultural discourses in which to understand lesbian and gay families. But while these images and narratives enable positive representations that counter invisibility and marginalization, they often work to delimit transformative mode of thinking and acting beyond normalizing categories. For LGBTTT2Q communities in Canada, the US, and Europe, family has been a site of struggle and invisibility, and has also been constructed as a site of transformation and pride, sometimes with the result that we have sidelined interrogations of how ‘queer families’ are normative and exclusionary. It is those troubling, ambiguous and unintelligible subjects that do not fit neatly into parental discourses that need to enter into public dialogues as part of a comprehensive project of queering parenting.

This book adopts a range of critically queer theoretical perspectives to rethink the parameters of parenting and family beyond heteronormative boundaries. Our goal is to engage with difficult knowledges and changing embodied parental experiences that include dynamic gender and sexual arrangements as they are lived through multi-layered racial, national and class relations. Rather than list those identities that fit into a queer paradigm we encourage a more pliable framework that explores the institutions, languages and contexts of parenting, complicating the ways powers shape alternatives to white middle-class heterosexual nuclear formations. Our interest is in fostering interpretive work on parenting that bridges articulations of intimate subjectivity, and analysis of broad social and historical forces that cumulatively impact what can be done and said in the name of diverse family relations.
We hope to include a range of styles of academic writing, and encourage interdisciplinary modes of analysis. The following topics interest us but they do not exhaust the horizon of our search:

* Transgender parenting within and beyond bi-gender mother and father roles
* Transnational queer parenting or transnational and queer critiques of the family
* Affective/psychic/embodied transformations of queer parenting
* Queering public/private and national boundaries of reproductivity
* The status of ‘queer’ as a strategic and heuristic tool of family life
* Parenting and sexualities
* Media representations and spectacles of queer families
* Alternative visual and artistic depictions of family life
* Racialization of queer family discourses
* Queering family law
* Queer interventions with reproductive technologies
* Reflecting on gay and lesbian self-help parenting texts
* Community based queer family activism and organizing
* Commodification of queer parenting and queer families

Deadline for papers is October 31, 2008. All papers must be MLA format (7000 word limit).
Please submit inquiries and complete essays to both: and
Association for Research on Mothering (ARM)
Demeter Press
726 Atkinson, York University
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON,
Canada, M3J 1P3
416-736-2100 x60366 (fax) 416-736-5766

Amy Stockwell Mercer is a freelance writer living in Charleston, SC with her husband and three sons. An MFA graduate in Creative Writing from Queens University, she writes about art and artist profiles for Charleston Magazine, The City Paper, Charleston Art Mag, and Art Papers. Amy also writes about living with chronic illness, and is finishing a book about women with diabetes for Demos Health. When she needs to get out of her own head, she teaches college students how to write the 5 paragraph essay. You can read more of her writing at her website.

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