CFP: Matroreform and Motherlines Conference

Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement  (MIRCI) 

October 18-20, 2013, Toronto, ON, Canada

Matroreform, a feminist term coined by Canadian psychologist Dr. Gina Wong, is a psychological, spiritual, cognitive, and emotional reformation of mothering at an intra- and interpersonal level; is a process by which mothers reproduce a new way of mothering apart from her motherline; and it represents an holistic, sociocultural revolution of motherhood at a global level. As a transformative maternal practice of claiming motherhood power, this progressive movement to mothering includes new and empowering motherhood ethos, ideologies, rules, views, and practices apart from one's motherline and apart from dominant and normative discourses of the sacrificial and good mother. Adrienne Rich describes matrophobia as the result of a daughterhood fraught with witnessing the self-sacrificing, capitulating, and self-denial of the mother who is trapped in the oppressive bonds of conventional motherhood. These daughters attempt to extricate themselves from anything remotely close to their mother, which often includes a fear of becoming mothers themselves. Instead, through a process of matroreform, these daughters become mothers and instigate mothering practices and ideas that are right for them; thereby entering new possibilities of what it means to mother. Motherlines: Award-winning poet, author, and Jungian analyst Naomi Ruth Lowinsky notes that our mothers are the first world we know, the source of our lives and stories, and embody the mysteries of origin that tie us to the great web of kin and generation. Motherlines acknowledge the embodied experiences and knowledge/s of mother/child relationships and the responsibilities, challenges, and labour involved in motherwork.Motherline stories contain invaluable lessons and memories of mothering, as well as support for mothers.

This conference will examine the experiences and counter-experiences of matroreform and motherlines that are enduring, severed, or threadbare. We will explore the feminist, political, social/cultural, economic, historical, religious, spiritual, and psychological dimensions of these topics. We welcome submissions from scholars, academics, students, artists, mothers, daughters, and others with experience and knowledge in the areas of matroreform and motherlines. Narratives of experiences as well as cross-cultural and comparative works are encouraged. We also encourage a variety of submissions including scholarly papers from all disciplines, creative submissions, and reflective pieces such as poetry, narratives, artwork, and performance art. 

Topics may include but are not restricted to:
Mothering daughters, daughtering, motherhood and oppression, sacrificial mothering, the 'good' mother, empowered mothering, feminist mothering, queer and transgendered mothering, academic mothering, historical accounts, narratives of different mothering; disordered eating, self-esteem and confidence issues, sexual-interference; reproducing mothering, enacting mothering in bold ways, interplay of religion and economic impact of matroreform; attachment, adopting and fostering impact on motherlines, research methods to study matroreform and motherlines, mothering bodies, embodiment, and material site of maternal power and oppression; cross-cultural perspectives and experiences of matroreform/motherlines, bi-cultural identity and motherlines; social media and technology influence on matroreform; mothering in the Information Age; mothering over 40; sexual interference; gender socialization; sociocultural influences; interdisciplinary perspectives on matroreform and motherlines; matroreform and mental health, depression and postpartum depression (debate intergenerational and motherline transmission), medicalization and pathologizing mother's distress; contextualizing mother's suffering; patriarchy and male-based assumptions of women's experiences; mother-blame; counselling strategies and approaches in working to strengthen motherlines and matroreform; ways to counter mainstream ethos of mothering and motherhood. 

Keynote Speakers TBA

If you are interested in being considered as a presenter, please send a 
250 word abstract and a 50-word bio by March 15th, 2013 to 

Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI)
140 Holland St. West, PO Box 13022
Bradford, ON, L3Z 2Y5 (tel) 905-775-5215

Disclosure: I am getting a complementary membership to MIRCI and subscription to the journal in return for posting these updates. It is, however, something I would have agreed to do for free because I think their work is so wonderful.