Bad Mothers: An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

Bad Mothers: An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference
Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 7:00pm

Bad Mothers
A Global Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

Saturday 4th April 2020 - Sunday 5th April 2020
Lisbon, Portugal

As givers of life, mothers occupy an essential role in ensuring the ongoing survival of the human race. The bond between mother and child is commonly revered in societies as primal and sacred. Perhaps it is because of the importance of child-bearing and child-rearing that so much critical attention has been given to how mothers should and should not behave. Entertainment and news media outlets, parenting manuals and social media are among the main sources of role models to which mothers might aspire as well as cautionary tales of women whose conduct has earned them the label of bad mothers. But just what does it mean to be a bad mother? While mothers who kill or cause harm to their children are obvious examples, how should we regard a mother whose neglect for her child is due to having to work multiple jobs to support her family? What about the mother whose loving indulgence of her child’s every wish causes the child to develop a detrimental sense of entitlement? These grey areas signify the complexities of motherhood itself, as well as the challenges associated with evaluating a mother’s goodness or badness.

In recognition of the fundamentally interdisciplinary nature of motherhood, the Bad Mothers event seeks to provide a platform for participants to explore this multi-faceted topic with a view to forming an innovative interdisciplinary publication to engender further research and collaboration. Key questions for discussion include: What are the purposes and consequences of declaring someone a bad mother? How have the standards for being a bad mother changed over time? To what extent is the bad mother label a product of economic and racial privilege? What do stories of real and fictional bad mothers reveal about broader socio-cultural preoccupations? Are bad mothers ever justified in their behaviour, and can they be redeemed? Is there an obligation to act in relation to bad mothers?

Bad Mothers is a project within a newly forming Evil Families thread which will also consider Bad Fathers and already has an event dealing with Evil Children: Children and Evil.

Key Topics
We invite presentations from artists, caregivers, therapists, psychologists, social workers, thought leaders, stake holders, medical professionals, entrepreneurs, designers, musicians, patients, activists, journalists, policy makers, developers, technologists, and academics from across any of the disciplines that respond to or innovatively (re-)frame any of the following additional core conference themes listed below:

~ Case studies, narratives, memoirs and other accounts of bad mothers
~ Medical/clinical perspectives on bad mothers
~ Standards and criteria for evaluating mothers as ‘bad’ (legal, legislative, moral, religious, parenting guides etc.)
~ Ideological implications of declaring someone a bad mother
~ Social Media: profiting from children’s viral success
~ Impacts of economic status, social position, sexual orientation, gender roles, ethnicity, cultural norms on determinations of ‘bad mothers
~ Representation of bad mothers in literature, drama, art, film, television, video, gaming and music
~ ‘Tiger Mom’ controversy
~ Effects of bad mothers on nuclear/extended family dynamics
~ Consequences of bad mothers for children (child abuse, neglect, mental cruelty, ‘affluenza’ etc.)
~ Resistance to motherhood
~ Non-biological bad mothers (step-mothers, adoptive mothers)
~ Shaming, scapegoating and punishment of bad mothers
~ Romanticising bad mothers
~ Social control and gender equality issues
~ The dissolution of families and alienation of parents in the context of migration and refugee crises
~ Opportunities for addressing the problems associated with bad mothers
Bad mothers in the animal kingdom

What To Send
The aim of this inclusive interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, problem-solving sessions, case studies, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc. Creative responses to the subject, such as poetry/prose, short film screenings/original drama, installations and alternative presentation styles that engage the audience and foster debate are particularly encouraged. Please feel free to put forward proposals that you think will get the message across, in whatever form.

At the end of the conference we will be exploring ways in which we can develop the discussions and dialogues in new and sustainable inclusive interdisciplinary directions, including research, workshops, publications, public interest days, associations, developing courses etc which will help us make sense of the topics discussed during the meeting.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 8th November 2019. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chairs.

All submissions will be at least double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team, The Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 22nd November 2019.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 21st February 2020.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) type of proposal e.g. paper presentation, workshop, panel, film, performance, etc, f) body of proposal, g) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Bad Mothers Submission

Where To Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Frances Maranger: fhopem@yorku.ca
Len Capuli (Project Administrator): lisbonmothers@progressiveconnexions.net

What’s so Special About A Progressive Connexions Event?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.

Ethos
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.

Please send all enquiries to: lisbonmothers@progressiveconnexions.net

For further details and information please visit the conference web page: http://www.progressiveconnexions.net/interdisciplinary-projects/evil/bad-mothers/conferences/

Sponsored by: Progressive Connexions 

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