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

Demeter Press
is seeking submissions for an edited collection on:

Mothering and Psychoanalysis:
Clinical, Sociological & Feminist Perspectives
Editor: Petra Büskens
Pub Date: 2012/2013

Deadline for abstracts: June 1, 2011

This book aims to analyse the intersecting territories of mothering and psychoanalysis from feminist, sociological and psychoanalytic/psychotherapeutic perspectives. Not since Nancy Chodorow's The Reproduction of Mothering has there been a sustained analysis of mothering from this three-fold perspective. This book seeks to analyse mothering and psychoanalytic/therapeutic theory and practice from within any (or all) of these perspectives. In particular, while there has been much psychoanalytic focus on mothers and mothering, there has been less focus on psychoanalysis from the perspective of mothers or as a form of mothering. As Chodorow said in her forward to the new edition of The Reproduction of Mothering (1999), at the time of writing, hers was the daughter's perspective, however, her own development has led her to be sceptical about some of her claims. How does the mother's perspective shift psychoanalytic theory? What is the position of the mother in psychoanalytic theory and practice?

Motherhood studies is a new research area that privileges the theoretical, experiential and ontological vantage point of mothers (O'Reilly, 2010). This volume seeks submissions that draw on this perspective to engage a two-way discussion with psychoanalysis also drawing on clinical, feminist, critical theory and sociological perspectives. In addition to the psychoanalytic analysis of mothering, the editor encourages submissions that examine how psychoanalysis - and psychotherapy generally - constitutes a form of commodified care in the global economy potentially working to fill what Arlie Hochschild has memorably called the 'care deficit' (2003). Is care transmuting into the commercial domain? And, if so, what is the gendered composition of this care? How does the emergence of 'therapy culture' (Furedi, 2004), seen as the domain of self-exploration, compete with biomedical models of mental health and illness? If psychoanalysis is, as Freud said, 'a cure through love' then how is the 'emotion work' of the therapist analogous to mothering?

Selected topics may include but are not limited to:

Psychoanalytic analyses of mothers, mothering and motherhood; sociological analyses of 'therapy culture' and the feminisation of care work, including psychotherapy; the commercialisation of intimacy; psychoanalysis/psychotherapy as a form of mothering; maternal perspectives on psychoanalytic theory and practice; psychoanalytic mothers including Helene Deutsche, Karen Horney, Melanie Klein, Anna Freud and more recent thinkers such as Nancy Chodorow, Jessica Benjamin, Nancy McWilliams, Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva; Freud's relation to his own mother; clinical case studies of mothers; the 'good enough mother' (Winnicot); the 'bad', or pathologised mother; the mother-child bond and its relation to mental health and illness; attachment theory and therapy including the work of John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, and Peter Fonagy; infant observation research; the transference relationship; 'transference love'; object relations theory.

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts should be 250 words. Please also include a brief biography (50 words).

Deadline for abstracts June 1, 2011

Accepted papers of 4000-5000 words (15-20 pages) will be due Dec 1, 2011 and should conform to MLA style

Please send submissions directly to:Petra Buskens: petra@ppmdtherapy.com


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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