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23 September 2011

The End of Summer of Feminista

Today we welcome the Autumn Equinox and that of course means the end of Summer of Feminista.

I want to thank all the fabulous Latinas who took the time to contribute to the project! I know we are all busy mujeres and the fact that you took time means so much to me.

People often ask me to summarize what Summer of Feminista means. This summer I asked Latinas to give their opinion about Latinas being public intellectuals. Some mentioned well-known Latinas like Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor as proof that there are Latinas who are sharing their opinions with the world at large. But if I had to summarize the whole conversation we had here, it would be with this quote from Mala:
While we all wait for one leader to be baptized, one thought queen to be crowned, there are many unsung members across communities reclaiming and redefining Latin@ experiences across the diaspora.
Many of the Latinas who contributed firmly stated that they are not going to wait for ONE Latina to be THE public intellectual. Rather they are finding their niche and are either ready or getting ready to stand up and own their expertise. I asked everyone to own an expertise because for me, this is the first step to being a public intellectual. If you cannot own an expertise, how will you be courageous enough to send in that op-ed, make a speech or organize your neighbors?

Latinas are a diverse group of people. Some of us were born in the USA, some of us moved here with big dreams. Some of us speak Spanish, others are still learning. What connects us is a passion for life and for many of us a passion to share that passion. And I believe this means that we will never have ONE Latina public intellectual, but many with a variety of ideas on every topic. To this I say:


Summer of Feminista 2011 is a project where Latinas are sharing their thoughts on Latinas as Public Intellectuals. Liberal. Conservative. Academic statements. Personal stories. Learn more or how you can join the Summer of Feminista. This is a project of Viva la Feminista. Link and quote, but do not repost without written permission.

18 September 2011

Listen in...

this Wednesday night because I'll be on Feminist Magazine!

Feminist Magazine is the weekly Southern California radio show with feminist perspectives.

Listen in on Wednesday 7-8pm PST (9 pm Chicago time)

If you are in the area, you can turn to 90.7 FM Los Angeles 98.7 FM, Santa Barbara, 99.5 FM Ridgecrest/China Lake & 93.7 FM San Diego.

Otherwise, listen live at KPFK.org

14 September 2011

Help out an Illinois school

DonorsChoose.org or a school in your part of the U.S. of A.

This is the second week of classes for Chicago Public Schools and about the 4th or 5th week for other schools. In other words, class is certainly back in session. While there are a lot of debates happening in my lil part of the world about length of school day, school year, teacher pay and on and on, one thing is perfectly clear:

Some schools simply lack basic supplies to educate our children.

We can have the kids in school all day, all year around, but if they don't have basic supplies, all the reforms in the world won't do jack.

That is why I am encouraging you to take a peek through the Donors Choose database to see if there is a school near you or a teacher requesting supplies for your favorite subject that you can support.

The beauty of Donors Choose is that even a small donation can do a long way. You also get thank you notes! If you are lucky, you get a photo too. That is my favorite part. Last year my family supported a class field trip to a play and we received a photo of them in the audience. Just heart warming and evidence of our small donation making a world of difference to the kids and helping the teacher make her curriculum whole.

I'm all up in the debates our public schools, but while we're debating what the best path to walk is, we still need to get our kids music, books, art supplies, field trips and science equipment.

Come on, what are you waiting for? Post links to your favorite project too!

12 September 2011

CFP: One Day Conference:: Motherhood; Creativity In Theory & Practice


One Day Conference   
Motherhood; Creativity In Theory & Practice

Museum Of Motherhood
Oct. 3, 2011
301 East 84th St. NYC (lower level), New York - USA

Museum of Motherhood logo  
Conference will focus on the concept of creativity through theory and practice within the experience and study of motherhood.  Conference presenters and participants will develop an understanding of the creative process and how this has impact upon their professional and mothering identities.

We welcome submissions from scholars, students, activists, artists, community agencies, service providers, journalists, mothers and others who work or research in this area. Cross-cultural, historical, and comparative work is encouraged. We encourage a variety of types of submissions including academic papers from all disciplines, workshops, creative submissions, performances, storytelling, visual arts, film, music, audio and other alternative formats.Topics include (but are not limited to):

Representing Maternal creativity in Film, Video, Art, Music, and Theater; Theorizing Motherhood and Representation; Race, Representation and Motherhood and mobilizing voices through creativity; Maternal Ambivalence in visual culture; Countering Media Discourses on Motherhood with Mother voices; Maternal Loss, Depression, and Domestic Violence; Performing Feminist Mothering in Practice and Expression; Mother Writer: Writing Motherhood; Facilitating the Creative Family; A Culture of Creative Children; Imaging LGBT Mothers and Maternity; "Late Bloomer" Art: Post-Maternal Mother Artists; Representing Motherhood on the Internet; The Politics of Motherhood and Spirituality in Music and Visual Culture; Motherhood, Art, and Creativity; Healing and Creativity; The Performance of the Maternal or Performing Motherhood; Mothering and Disability: Producing New Paradigms of Normal; Motherhood in the News: Mothers as Newsmaker and Creative Cultural Force; Documenting Motherhood: Maternal Documentaries; Mothers, Motherhood and Photography; Behind the Camera: Mothers as Filmmakers, Directors, Producers; Mother Musicians across Musical Genres: Rock, Rap, Folk, Blues, Jazz, Country Narratives of Creative Mothers: Moms who "Rock," Expressing: Imaging Breastfeeding Mothers, Mommy Bloggers: Re-Writing Motherhood, etc.; Dealing with (Post-partum) Depression by Making Creative Work; Pregnant moms; Celebrity mothers; How images of fathers impact motherhood representation; News media coverage of foster moms; Moms in politics; teen mothers in film or television; advertising as aimed at pregnant/new Moms; Mothers as consumers; Mothering and the representation of Class and Transformation Through Creative Empowerment.   

Please distribute widely! Museum of Motherhood One Day Conference CFP 

Questions: MOMmuseum.org l MuseumOfMotherhood@gmail.com l 877.711.MOMS (6667)
Submit proposals at http://www.mommuseum.org/apply/

07 September 2011

NEW! Seeking Editor(s) for Asian American/Canadian Mothering Collection

Demeter Press
is seeking an editor(s) for a new collection on the topic of

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email Andrea O'Reilly directly (aoreilly@yorku.ca).
AND please include your CV and bio/background/interest in this area.

*Please note: Demeter Press is publishing an edited collection entitled "South Asian Mothering" in 2012 so we are interested specifically in East Asian perspectives for the above named project.

06 September 2011

Lisa Madigan, I really do take that much decongestant

This post could also be entitled: Why I hate meth & its users!

Six months ago, I was a happy (as much as one can be) seasonal allergy sufferer. I had my prescription for a certain name brand for so many years, it is like a security blanket for me. Seriously, when I forget to get a refill or renew the prescription, I panic because I know how messed up my head is going to get with all the snot, sneezing, itchy eyes and more snot. DRUG-D was my BFF. So when the company decided to put my second favorite pill (Sorry, Drug-D, but my birth control is #1 DBFF) on OTC, it turned me into a drug hunting mad woman.

First...Because the D means it has a decongestant and that decongestant is pseudoephedrine. Yup, the stuff that meth is made from. So there's a strict Illinois law about how much of that stuff you can buy AND you have to show ID if you don't have a prescription for it. That means I get to see my pharmacist team more often because the pills come in packs of 5 or 10.

Second...Now that climate change has gifted everyone seasonal allergies, there's a run on my drug! It's mine peoples! Go use the other stuff! Meaning that I have actually tried to locate my Drug-D in 2-3 different pharmacies in a 24 hour period.

Third....Because the packs for Drug-D are in 10s and I take it every single day of my life, means I'm at the pharmacy 3 times a month. Lovely, huh? But wait...

Fourth...This three packs of Drug-D in a month, which has been my usual pill taking for many years, puts me OVER the legal limit. So yeah, I went to my pharmacy and the pharmacist DENIED me.

Yeah, kinda embarrassing to be told the Attorney General blocked me. 

But looking at her website [pdf], I'm thinking that because I have a prescription on file, he should have handed me my pills. I'll have to print this out and have a conversation with them soon.Until then, I have a bottle of Drug without the D. If I can't get my hands on a continual supply, maybe I'll go every other day and hope for the best.

And to whomever decided to turn my preferred allergy medicine into meth - FUCK YOU!

03 September 2011

New CFP and three reminders: Caribbean Women's Writing, Mothering & Neoliberalism, Histories of Motherhood, Economics of Mothering

NEW: Call for Submissions

Demeter Press is seeking submissions for an edited collection entitled:

Reading/Speaking/Writing the Mother Text: Essays on

Caribbean Women's Writing

Co-editors: Cristina Herrera and Paula SanmartĂ­n Publication Date: 2014

Deadline for abstracts: January 15, 2012!

Scholarly work on Caribbean women's literature has grown since the 1990's, and much of this research examines maternal themes, as the topic of motherhood is highly visible in written works by women of the Caribbean regions. While there are several book-length studies on Caribbean women's literature, and a limited number of them do focus on the subject of Caribbean mothers, many of these studies lack analyses of the Spanish Caribbean, and the subject of motherhood, when explored, is also presented in rather specific contexts. Therefore, this collection seeks to expand this previous scholarship by offering a more expansive view of motherhood that encompasses a wide variety of thematic concerns, as well as a broader geographical scope that places a stronger emphasis on the understudied (Afro)Spanish Caribbean writers. In addition, the collection will strive to recover and discover new (Afro)Caribbean voices, by including essays on writers whose works have received little or no critical attention. The editors seek article-length contributions in all areas of literature, including poetry, novels, short stories, drama, autobiography, and essays.

Articles may discuss (but are not limited to) the following topics:

*Comparative studies* Postcolonialism/Critical Race Studies* Afro-Caribbean women writers from the Spanish Caribbean, British Caribbean, French Caribbean, and the Dutch Caribbean* Matrilineal heritages and narratives* Maternal (her)stories* Maternal sexualities* Mothering and (im)migration, (im)migrant mothers and diaspora writing* Mother/daughter relationships* Grandmothers and "other mothers"* Mothering, home and the mother(land)* Maternal absence, maternal death* Abandonment, mother/daughter loss and gain* Madness, illness, the mad/ill mother and/or daughter* Maternal silences and mother tongues* Trauma, memory and mothering* Mothering and agency* Womanhood and motherhood* Revision and recovery of (m)other histories* Family narratives*Traditions of motherhood/mothering

Submission Guidelines:

Please submit abstracts of 250 words and include your 50 word bio and citizenship.

Deadline for Abstracts is January 15, 2012

Please send submissions and inquiries directly to Cristina Herrera and Paula Sanmartin: cherrera@csufresno.edu, psanmartin@csufresno.edu


Demeter Press is seeking submissions for an edited collection on Mothering in the Age of Neoliberalism

Editor: Melinda Vandenbeld Giles


The term "neoliberal" has come to define our current global age, yet definitive understandings of what "neoliberal" means remains a contested terrain. In the past three decades, neoliberal economic/social ideology has created a global world governed by free-market principles. The purpose of this edited collection is to explore the meanings and effects of neoliberalism from the perspective of "mothers." Arising from an inclusive and broad understanding of "mothering," the intent of the collection is to compile diverse works from an assortment of geographical areas and interests pertaining to mothering and neoliberalism. For the purposes of this volume, neoliberalism is to be understood as a social as well as political/economic ethos whereby the free-market focus has come to infiltrate all aspects of society. The collection will focus on ethnographic (research-based) and theoretical submissions.

Topics can include (but are not limited to):

Marginalized mothers, mothering and homelessness, mothering and the social welfare state, mothering and childcare, intensive mothering and neoliberalism, mothering and migration, transnational mothering, mothering and capitalism, mothering and maternity leave, mothering and employment, mothering and "working from home," mothering and individuation, mothering and neoliberal child-rearing practices, neoliberal representations of "mothering," single mothering, connections between neoliberalism, feminism and mothering, neoliberalism and re-conceptualizing the "nuclear family," eco-mothering, neoliberal policies and reproductive rights, mothering and the economy, mothering and collective political mobilization, mothering and finance, entrepreneurial mothers, mothering and neoliberal education, neoliberal reconfiguration of public/private dichotomy, mothering and neoliberal discourses of health, gender roles and neoliberalism, mothers as niche markets, mothering and urban living, neoliberal redefining of family/home spatialization, mothers and microcredit, mothering and poverty, mothering and media, mothering in the informal economy, mothering and governmentality, mothering and risk discourse, mothering and transnational spatiality, mothering and Marxism, mothering and NGOs, global neoliberal maternal health discourses, mothering and volunteerism, mothering and the global labour market, effects of privatization and decentralization on mothering, effects of neoliberal structural readjustment on mothering, neoliberalism and reconfigured kinship networks, mothering and globalization, neoliberalism and family law, mothering and social activism, mothering and alternative sustainable economic paradigms.

Submission guidelines:

Abstracts: 250 words. Please include a 50-word biography (with citizenship information.)

Deadline for abstracts is November 1, 2011

Please send submissions and inquiries directly to:

Melinda Vandenbeld Giles: melinda.vandenbeldgiles@utoronto.ca

Accepted papers of 4000-5000 words (15-20 pages) will be due July 1, 2012, and should conform to American Anthropological Association style.


Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI)

Mothers and History: Histories of Motherhood

May 10-12, 2012, Toronto, ON, Canada

Deadline for abstracts: September 15th, 2011

We welcome submissions from scholars, students, artists, mothers and others who research in this area. Cross-cultural and comparative work is encouraged. We are open to a variety of types of submissions including academic papers from all disciplines and creative submissions.

This conference will explore the nature, status and experience of mothers and motherhood in various historical, cultural and literary contexts, and examine the many ways in which mothers in different historical periods have been affected by, viewed, and/or challenged contemporary cultural norms and dominant ideologies regarding their role.

Topics may include but are not restricted to:

Normative & disruptive discourses about mothers and motherhood in any historical period, including but not limited to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment; the Victorian era; mothers/motherhood and early feminism(s); mothering bodies: mothers and childbirth/lactation and maternal health in any historical period; mothers & midwifery; mothers and education in any historical period; mothers and sons/daughters in any historical period; mothers of color, teen mothers, First Nation/aboriginal/Native American mothers, low-income mothers in any historical period; "good" and/or "bad" mothers in history; mothers and paid/unpaid work in history; mothers and infertility in history; adoptive motherhood/adoption in any historical period; wet-nursing, and surrogate motherhood in any historical period; transmitting maternal knowledges, creative expression and motherhood; patriarchal mothers/motherhood; mothers/motherhood and oral histories/family histories; motherhood and colonialism; mothering encounters across cultures; othermothering; state(s)/ nationalism/religion(s), and motherhood; mother love: transhistorical and/or historically determined; representations of mothers/mothering in art, literature, narrative, popular culture throughout history; maternal feminisms/mother movements/maternal activism in history; mothers and politics across history; famous mothers in history; immigrant/migrant/transnational mothers in history; mothers' changing relationship with "the experts" regarding birthing, infant care in the age of infectious diseases, baby books, birth control and eugenic sterilization, infertility, etc.; reproductive rights and wrongs, including rise of contraceptive technology alongside state-coerced sterilization; momism and mother blame with the rise of psychology; mothers and the state, especially welfare rights and wrongs ; maternalist political rhetoric in favor of suffrage, labor rights ; rise of intensive mothering; queer/transgendered mothers/mothering in a historical perspective ; mothering queer/transgendered children in a historical perspective ; mothering in the Information Age ; maternal associations/mothers' groups.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Patrizia Albanese, Ryerson University, author of Child Poverty in Canada

Kim Anderson, University of Guelph, author of Recognition of Being: Reconstructing Native Womanhood

Rima D. Apple, University of Wisconsin, author of Perfect Motherhood: Science and Childrearing in America

Susan Boyd, University of British Columbia, co-author of Reaction and Resistance: Feminism, Law, and Social Change

Fiona J. Green, University of Winnipeg, author of Practicing Feminist Mothering

D. Memee Lavell-Harvard, President, Ontario Native Women's Association (ONWA) and

Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, President, Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC)

Lynn O'Brien Hallstein, Boston University, co-editor of Contemplating Maternity in the Era of Choice

Rebecca Jo Plant, University of California, San Diego, author of Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America

Stephanie Shaw, Ohio State University, author of Grandmothers, Granny Women, and Old Aunts: Rethinking Slave Families and Communities in the Nineteenth-Century South

Wanda Thomas Bernard, Dalhousie University, co-author of Race and Well-Being: The Lives, Hopes and Activism of African Canadians

Shari Thurer, Boston University, author of The Myths of Motherhood

Lauri Umansky, Suffolk University, author of Impossible to Hold: Women and Culture in the 1960s

Jodi Vandenberg-Daves, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, author of Woman's "One Vocation": The Making of Modern Motherhood in the United States

If you are interested in being considered as a presenter, please send a 250 word abstract and a 50-word bio by September 15th, 2011 to info@motherhoodinitiative.org




Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI)

The editorial board is seeking submissions for Vol. 3.1 of the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (JMI) to be published in spring/summer 2012.

Mothers and the Economy: The Economics of Mothering


The journal will explore the topic of Mothers and the Economy from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. We welcome submissions from scholars, students, activists, government agencies and workers, artists, mothers, and others who work or research in this area. Cross-cultural, historical and comparative work is encouraged. We also welcome creative reflections such as poetry, short stories, and artwork on the subject.

Topics can include (but are not limited to):

the economics of maintaining sustainable family systems; mothering, appropriate technology and economics; mothering and microcredit; mothering and economic activism; mothering and economic activism through the arts; mothering with reduced resources; social and economic supports for mothering; mothering within the neoliberal context; motherwork and valuation of motherwork, mothering and the economics of unpaid labour; mothers-as-providers, mother-led cooperatives; the effects of privatization/commodification on women; mothering and the economics of raising children with disabilities; the economics of maternal mortality rates; the "selling" of mothering and the economics of consumerism; consumption and the marketing of mothering; the economics of reproductive technologies and surrogacy; structural adjustment policies and mothering; the financial implications for mothers of family law reforms and welfare state developments, the economic impacts of environmental degradation on mothering; quantifications of mothering/caregiving/parenting as a part of the base structure of the economic productivity of society; children as economic assets/burdens; the actual value of domestic/unpaid labour; motherhood and the gender pay gap, mothering and the feminization of poverty; mothering, occupational segregation and the wage gap; the impacts of economic globalization on mothering and kinship networks; the envisioning and articulation of more human-centered economic systems and policies to enhance mothering/caregiving practices; transformations of male breadwinner-female caretaker models; the economics of caregiving/parenting in nontraditional households; mothering and the "new home economics"; mothering, feminist economics and social justice; mothering and welfare policies; mothering and health care costs; the commodification of domestic labour; global and transnational motherhood, transnational families in the new global economy; the economics of the second shift; global care chains; mothering/caregiving/parenting and economic justice, motherwork in organisations; mothers' economic transactions; mothers' labour paid and unpaid; mothers in enterprise and mothers in alternative enterprise; mothers and non-monetary economic flows; mothers in the workplace; homeschooling mothers; mothers as consumers; mothers and Marxism; mothers and neo-liberalism; mothers in a capitalist economy; mothers in a diverse economy; mothers and food economies; mother's milk and breastfeeding; the economic roles of mothers in undeveloped economies; the economic roles of mothers in non-Western cultures; mothering and economic subjectivity; mothers as alternative economic activists.


Articles should be 15-18 pages (3750 words) including references.

All should be in MLA style, WordPerfect or Word and IBM compatible.

Please see our style guide for complete details:






This blog is my personal blog and is not reflective of my employer or what I do for them.

What I'm Currently Reading

I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame
The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

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