Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Laboring On: Testimony, Theory & Transgressions of Black Mothering in Academia

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Call for Papers
Demeter Press
is seeking submissions for an edited collection on

Laboring On: Testimony, Theory & Transgressions of Black Mothering
in Academia

Editors: Sekile Nzinga-Johnson & Karen Craddock Pub Date: 2012/2013
This book aims to interrogate the intersecting forms of oppression that are experienced by Black female faculty and scholars who "labor" and "mother" within the academy. The context in which Black female academics occupy is an important starting point to consider given the longstanding history of the patriarchal, racially biased, and anti-family environment of academia. Post civil rights and women rights colleges and universities continue to be sites of struggle and resistance for African American women despite higher education achievements. This anthology will offer a particularly nuanced discussion on the emergent literature on parenting and work that explores academic institutions that largely mark black women's bodies as deviant and pathological.

We encourage submissions that explore various constructions of "mothering" and "being mothered" which contribute to the experiences of Black women academics. For the purposes of this book we have broadened our conceptualization of "mothering" to include care work. Thus "mothering" may include the expectations or practice of providing formal and informal support to students of color and/or students that are alienated within the academy, as well as the mentoring of junior faculty, faculty of color, female faculty, caregiving/parenting faculty, and those outside the academy. The term "labor" theoretically extends this volume to include the voices of Black academic women who often occupy the lowest echelons of the academic class structure. We also invite contributions that encompass the strains between work and home/community life for Black academic mothers.

The goal of this volume is to further the discussion of work and family from a critical and interdisciplinary lens that illuminates the complex realities of Black women who mother and labor within the academy.

Suggested topics may include but are not limited to:

Academic climate; Research & policy on African American mothering in the academy; Resistance to marginalization within the academy; Work-life strains; Embodying multiple marginalities in the academy; Intersectionality; Constructions of black mothering/motherhood; Explorations of various constructions of "mothering" and "being mothered"; Parallels and confounds of mothering and mentoring; Gender roles and responsibilities; Black mothers and the "maternal wall"; Analysis of Black mothers in the academy as laborers; Embodiment; Identity; Black maternal theory and activism; Black mother- academics, stress and health; Experiences of adjunct and part time professors; Students as academic mothers; Tenure and promotion; Early, mid & late career mothering decisions; Single parenting; Dual careers; Black foster and adoptive mother academics; Black women scholars as intellectual mothers; Black grandmothers as academics; Black mothering and laboring in different academic settings; Teaching Black Motherhood; Pedagogy; Bias avoidance/choosing not to parent as an academic; Black mother-academics and community; Black academic mothers "having it all"; Biographies; Narratives and Autobiographies.

Submission guidelines:
Abstracts should be 250 words. Please also include a brief biography (50 words).
Deadline for abstracts Nov 1, 2010
Accepted papers of 4000-5000 words (15-20 pages) will be due June 1, 2011 and
should conform to the Modern Language Association style.

Please send submissions directly to:
Sekile Nzinga-Johnson snzinga3@naz.edu
and Karen T. Craddock kcrad@brandeis.edu


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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