Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

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Submission Deadline: July 13, 2009
A Symposium on Birth Practices and Reproductive Rights

Wednesday 7th October 2009 (tentative) at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia Forty years ago, the feminist movement advocated for reproductive rights. Over the years, childbirth was dropped from the agenda. Why? What has this meant for women? How are women organizing for change?

We welcome submissions from scholars, students, activists, artists, mothers and others who work or research in this area. Comparative and interdisciplinary work is encouraged. Feminist inquiries are explicitly sought, although all submissions will be considered. We encourage a variety of types of submissions including academic papers from all disciplines, workshops, creative submissions, performances, storytelling, visual arts, and other alternative formats.

This symposium is interdisciplinary. Possible topics include:
• Cultural myths and expectations around birth (written, verbal, or visual culture)
• Rethinking maternal-fetal conflict
• The psychological impact of contemporary birth practices
• Developments in midwifery, homebirth, and unassisted birth
• The symbolic significance of birth practices as socialization
• The evolution of contemporary birth practices and taboos
• Maternal resistance to birth practices
• The feminist movement and birth

If you are interested in being a presenter, please send a 250-500 word abstract and a 50 word bio by July 13, 2009 to: Jessica Clements (
Late abstracts will be considered and accepted if possible.
Please send the abstract as an attachment, not in the body of an email, in either PDF or Word DOC format. Include Title, Abstract (250-500 words), Name, Institutional Affiliation, Address, Phone, Email Address, Brief Bio (50 words).

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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