All conferences focus on motherhood through theory and practice within the study of motherhood.  Conference presenters and participants develop an understanding of the process and development of mother culture and we welcome submissions from academics, artists, lay-people, experts and professionals. Our conferences help define and impact professional and personal mothering identities.

Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis. Please fill out the application and follow up with ane-mail to Lynn Kuechle – MOMscholar@gmail.com, our Director Of Education.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions: 212.452.9810.

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LINK May 2013 Conference





Thursday, May 17th

10:00 – 10:30 Gathering

Session 1 – Honesty and Motherhood, Dispelling Myths

10:30 – 10:50

Name: Patti Ashley

Presentation Title: Perfect Moms Get Real!

Presentation Synopsis: Based on my book Mothering Beyond Image: Living in the Shadow of the Too-Good Mother, this presentation looks at five themes that mothers today are afraid to talk about honestly.   Authenticity and mindfulness exercises are included in the presentation. www.motheringbeyondimage.com

Auto-Bio: I have been a mother and worked with mothers for over thirty years in educational, pediatric and counseling settings.  I have three degrees including a Ph.D. in psychology, but my greatest teachers have been my four children now ages 23, 25,26, and 31.

I have just completed a book on the experience of women as mothers from the perspective of the deep unconscious, or what Carl Jung labeled the shadow.  My passion lies in helping women feel more whole as mothers and individuals.

10:50 – 11:10

Name: Lynda Ross

Presentation Title: Disabling Mothers: Constructing a Postpartum Depression – Evolving Motherhood Conference (May, 2012)

Presentation Synopsis: This paper will explore the history of postpartum depression and discuss the changing discourses surrounding the “disorder.”

Auto-Bio: Lynda R. Ross is an associate professor of women’s and gender studies in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies at Athabasca University, where she also coordinates the Certificate in Counselling Women program. Graduating with a doctoral degree in psychology from the University of New Brunswick in 1998, her research interests include construction of theory, social construction of ‘disorder,’ and motherhood.

11:10 – 11:30

Name: Catalina Florina Florescu

Presentation Title: My Blue Escape, My Otherness of Being

Presentation Synopsis: This is an autobiographical, creative piece that relies on the power and fragility of memory. I have spent the last 19 years without mom, and I am still searching for “new” memories of me and her. Most likely, I have started to invent her, transforming her into an immortal character.

Catalina’s first book. Transacting Sites of the Liminal Bodily Spaces, is now indexed in www.worldcat.org, and is part of top-rated universities’ collections:  Princeton, Columbia, Harvard, The Library of Congress, etc.  In addition, she has published book chapters and essays in peer-reviewed journals.  Her second book is a memoir about love and loss, exile and assimilation, Inventing Me/Exercitii de retrait (Romanian).  She teaches writing and literature at Hudson County CC and Metropolitan College of New York and Is a Fellowship recipient of the Modern Language Association International.

11:30 – 12:00 –

Name: Katherine Pickering Antonova

Presentation Title: Varieties of Separate Spheres: A Case from Nineteenth-Century Russia

Presentation Synopsis: A historical case study of a Russian gentry mother in the 1830s and 1840s, based on her and her familiy’s diaries. Natalia Chikhacheva defined motherhood as ensuring her children’s material comfort, while a wet nurse and nanny nurtured them and her husband was in charge of upbringing. This seemingly unusual arrangement was not considered unusual or a challenge to the then prevalent notion of a woman’s “natural” place in the home.

Auto-Bio: I am an Assistant Professor of History at Queens College, CUNY, specializing in the cultural and intellectual history of Russia in the nineteenth century, and author of _An Ordinary Marriage: The World of a Gentry Family in Provincial Russia_ (forthcoming from Oxford University Press, December 2012).

12:00 – 1:30                   Lunch

Session 2 -Analysis of Motherhood Theories & Practices

1:30 – 1:50

Name: Gillian Anderson

Presentation Title: Narratives of Modern Motherhood: “Yummy Mummies” – Fact or Fiction?

Presentation Synopsis: As a mother, feminist and sociologist, I am simultaneously intrigued and disturbed by one of the latest socio-cultural constructions of modern of motherhood, the so-called “Yummy Mummy” (YM) – hip, attractive, confident, and selfless mothers who apparently can and do it all – those mothers shamelessly flaunted by media, embraced by popular and celebrity culture, and coveted by advertisers alike. Of particular interest to me is what, if any impact this relatively new representation of mothering and motherhood has on women as mothers, especially in relation to our mothering identities and our mothering practices. This work in progress draws on content analyses of a western Canadian parenting magazine and the narrative accounts of a small group of island mothers. My preliminary findings speak both to the normative expectations and to the pervasiveness of social class in the (re)production of dominant mothering discourses – specifically with respect to the meta-narrative of the “good mother”; as well as the commodification or commercialization of mothering; and to the outsourcing of “motherwork” (see for example Ladd-Taylor, 1995) along increasingly unequal lines. Further, while some mothers may be empowered by YM imagery, others remain quite critical of its superficial and rather limited consumer oriented appeal. The analyses explored in this working paper are part of a larger study on The Social Construction of Motherhood in contemporary Canadian society. My research not only strives to reimagine mothering as a fundamental political project, but reaffirms feminist calls for more collectivized strategies that ensure the social wellbeing of all mothers.

Auto-Bio: Gillian Anderson is a mother and University-College Professor at Vancouver Island University (VIU) in Nanaimo, BC. Her broad areas of interest include the sociology of gender and family relations, social inequality, social policy and women’s organizing for change.

1:50 – 2:10  _ The Museum of Motherhood Vision – Creativity, Empowerment, Research and More

Panelists: Lynn Kuechle, Joy Rose, Dr. Aurelie, Athan, Laura Tropp

2:10 – 2:30

Name:   Angela Castañeda

Presentation Title: Mothering the Mother: Exploring the Boundaries of Doula Care

Presentation Synopsis: This research is about doulas, and it is based on participant observation and ethnographic interviews with birth doulas in a thriving Midwest doula community. A doula is a woman who provides support to another woman during childbirth. The field of doulas is a growing profession.  Doulas enter the homes and intimate spaces of pregnant women and straddle the boundaries between intimate and public in their work. This paper addresses how doulas negotiate professional expectations with embodying a doula “spirit.”  It raises questions surrounding the role of doulas in birth–Are doulas just making women feel good about their birth or something more?

Auto-Bio: Angela Castañeda is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at DePauw University.  Her teaching and research publicatins explore issues of identity surrounding religion, ritual, food, and birth.  Her current research focuses on the role of doulas in birth culture.  Angela is also a practicing birth and postpartum doulas in Indiana, and she serves on the Advisor Council for the International MotherBaby Chidbirth Organization.

Area of Expertise – Scholarly studies and academe: checked

2:30 – 2:50 –

Name: Jennifer (Jenny) Jones, (PhD, BA (Hons 1), Cert Education, Cert Nursing)

Presentation Title: Heather’s story: The living reality of being a mother with a young adult-child with a mental illnes

Presentation Synopsis:

Within contemporary Western moral frameworks there is an emphasis on what it is right to do rather than who it is good to be. This emphasis has supported and shaped the construction of a canonical maternal identity: the Good Mother stereotype—the mother who is sacrificial and who practices intensive mothering, the mother who is found in the plethora of books whose content relates predominantly to the vulnerability of infants and young children, the mother who, in turn, shapes and regulates all mothers. Also promoted within contemporary Western moral framework is the separation thesis—the notion that the ties must be cut when a child reaches culturally determined adulthood.  Within this thesis the Good “mature” mother is promoted as the mother who cuts these ties. Changes in contemporary lifestyle such as the crowded house and the revolving front door of the crowded house create challenges for the Good “mature” mother. Questions therefore must be raised not only regarding the narrowness and inadequacy of the canonical maternal identity but also the ethical and moral foundations upon which it has been constructed.

This paper, taken from my doctoral research which focused specifically on the identity challenges and prospects for mothers with young adult-children, illuminates one mother’s story and examines the ethical and social meanings inscribed in maternal stories. In particular, this paper will illustrate that the preservation, growth and socialization of her children is a valued goal state towards which a mother is drawn and by which she is moved.

Auto-Bio: I am a 57 year old wife, mother and grandmother with 3 young adult-children and one infant grandchild. I recently completed my Doctoral thesis titled “Composing Maternal Identities: The living realities of mothers with young adult-children in twenty-first century Australia”. I am currently employed in the role of Acting Clinical Ethics Coordinator for the South Brisbane Metropolitian Health Service of Queensland Health.

2:50 – 3:00                  Break

Session 3 – Motherhood and Organizations/Groups

3:00 – 3:20

Name: Margaret Little and Lynne Marks

Presentation Title: Evolving Motherhood Conference

Presentation Synopsis: This paper explores the different views of motherhood expressed within the Canadian second wave women’s movement.  We argue that the mainstream women’s movement tended to identify motherhood with issues of women’s domestic oppression, while women of colour and working-class women often viewed motherhood as a source of pride and strength.

Auto-Bio: Margaret Hillyard Little is a Full Professor in Gender Studies and Political Studies at Queen’s University and has written two books on motherhood, poverty and welfare policy.  Lynne Marks is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History at University of Victoria and has written one book and numerous articles on women and religion, women and welfare.  They are currently undertaking a 5-year project on marginalized mothers within the second wave feminist movement in Canada.
3:20 – 3:40

Name: Lauren Fannin

Presentation Title: Someone Who Looks like Me: Black Stay at Home Moms’ Perspectives and Mocha Moms, Inc

Presentation Synopsis: When Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen declared that Ann Romney, stay at home mom and wife of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, had never worked in her life, a debate on stay at home mothering was ignited in the media. Of the 5.6 million stay at home moms in America, 5% are black, and their voices were conspicuously absent from the discussion. The goal of this ethnographic study was to get black women’s perspectives on stay at home mothering and examine the ways in which the Mocha Moms organization provides support. Three black mothers from the South Cobb, GA chapter of Mocha Moms were interviewed, and observation data was collected over a period of two months. Common themes were negative perceptions of how the black community views stay at home mothering, pragmatism in decision making, desire for productivity, non-traditional gender role attitudes, qualifying family and friend reactions, passive spousal support, and validation from Mocha Moms.

Auto-bio: I am a graduate student in the department of African American Studies at Georgia State University. I am also a wife and mother of two children. I am currently conducting research for my master’s thesis. My primary research interests are black feminist thought/womanism, the intersection of race and gender, black male-female relationships, and black families.

3:40 – 4:00

Name:  Brenda Zubay

Presentation Title: Parenting While Apart

Presentation Synopsis: How is an identity as a mother affected when her children are removed from her and placed in foster care? This presentation explores questions about the changing role and identity of mothers who are separated from their children, are judged negatively as parents, and are denied their traditional parenting roles and responsibilities.

Auto-bio: I am an LMSW working at the Bronx Defenders in the Family Defense Practice. I have been working there since I graduated from Columbia School of Social Work in 2008. As a bilingual social worker, I work with parents who are dealing with the bureaucratic, complex, and frustrating child welfare and family court systems.  The Bronx Defenders is a community-based public defender office that provides fully integrated criminal defense, family defense, civil legal services, and social services to indigent people in the Bronx. The Family Defense Practice within The Bronx Defenders specifically provides legal representation to parents in Bronx Family Court.

4:00 – 4:20

Name:  Ariella Rotramel

Presentation Title: Activist Mothering Roundtable

Mothers on the Move/Madres en Movimiento (MOM), is a women-led, mixed gender community organization located in the South Bronx.  Its membership is diverse in terms of race, class, and age and for twenty years MOM has successfully mobilized the community to fight for educational, environmental and housing justice.  For the M.O.M. Conference & Mama Expo 2012 “Evolving Motherhood,” MOM staff and members, along with researcher Dr. Ariella Rotramel, propose holding a roundtable discussion on pursuing “motherwork” in the South Bronx today.  Using Patricia Hill Collin’s framework, we will consider how mothers, guardians and their non-parent allies make positive change for the South Bronx’s children and support young mothers through their participation in MOM.  This roundtable provides an excellent opportunity to consider the theory and practice of mothering being pursued in the South Bronx today.

4:30 – 4:50

Name: Lauren A. Cockerham-Colas

Presentation Title: Breastfeeding within the United States: An Analysis of the Development and Impact of Societal Norms

Presentation Synopsis: The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous and well-documented; and yet current U.S. breastfeeding rates do not necessarily reflect this.  The Healthy People 2020 goal request that 81.9% of babies be breastfed in the early postpartum period,  60.6% at 6 months (25.5% exclusively),  and 34.1% at one year, however recent data reveal that only 74.6%  of mothers initiate breastfeeding , 44.3% breastfeed at 6 months (14.8% exclusively), and 23.8% breastfeed at 1 year.     When a mother decides against breastfeeding, she (and society) may believe that her decision is solely a personal one.    This is not necessarily the case, however.   Although she may not be aware of it, a mother’s breastfeeding decision is influenced by an array of factors beyond her individual self.  The Social Ecological Model for health posits that there are four factors that  can influence behavior:  1) individual factors, 2) relationship factors,  3) community factors, and 4) societal factors.     By exploring the  components which make up the societal level of this model, namely social norms and policies, we can gain further insight into the  current status of breastfeeding within the United States.  Utilizing the Social Ecological Model as a framework, the purpose of this presentation will be to 1) describe how evolving societal norms have influenced the current U.S. breastfeeding environment; and 2) to facilitate a discussion with audience members about the various ways societal norms have influenced their own personal breastfeeding attitudes and opinions.

Auto-Bio: I hold a Master of Public Health degree (MPH) in Community Health Sciences, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition.  I discovered my passion for breastfeeding promotion while working with lower income women at the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) in Gainesville, Florida.   In 2010, was awarded the Arthur and Patricia Robins Award for Distinction in the MPH Practicum for my research project that assessed and drastically improved the attitudes of health professionals towards extended breastfeeding.  The results of this project were published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Breastfeeding Medicine.  I am also a freelance photographer, specializing in child and family portraiture.   As part of a breastfeeding project, I photographed over 50 extended nursing families (breastfeeding child over age 1 year) across 5 different States.  My breastfeeding photography work was recently on display at the Museum of Motherhood.

————————————-EVENING SESSION———-­­­­­—————————-




10:00 – 10:30                  Gathering

Session 1 -Analysis of Motherhood Theories & Practices

10:30 – 10:50

Name: Dr. Linda Ennis

Presentation Title: To Work Or Not To Work: That Is The Choice

Presentation Synopsis: My talk relates to the changing economics of motherhood and the persistent misguided discussions as to whether mothers should work or not.
In understanding the balancing of work and motherhood, the following questions need to be addressed:
1) Who chooses for the mother to stay home and raise the child? Is there, in fact, a choice to do so?
2) What impact does the choice of either working or full-time motherhood have on the family and the mother emotionally and financially?
3) What is the relationship between the way mothers perceive their role as mother and society’s expectations of motherhood, which encourages “intensive mothering”?
4) What value or lack of value is placed on mothering by the work milieu?

Auto-Bio: I am a psychoanalytic therapist and lecturer at York University, Toronto. I am a member of MIRCI and give presentations regularly on my research, combining motherhood with employment.

10:50 – 11:10

Name: Aubrey Mishou

Presentation Title:  Purposeful Progeny: Gothic Literature and Alternative Reproduction

Presentation Synopsis: For Victorians, the female reproductive system is to be blamed for female madness; Victorian psychiatrists believe that “female insanity [is] specifically and confidently linked to the biological crises of the female life-cycle – puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause – during which the mind would be weakened…” (Showalter 55).  Indeed, it is not just female sexuality that Victorians fear, but the product of that sexuality, including not only the changing female form and the mysterious production of life, but the impact that this process has on the mind of the maternal figure.  Maternity becomes a threat to the patriarchal system, as the female reproductive system can be blamed for the state of turmoil created by “unstable” women.  Nineteenth-century novelists respond to this contentious relationship between unstable maternity and society by vilifying female insanity, and attempting to circumnavigate the womb in search of a stronger source of progeny.  Gothic literature most notably takes up this call, seeking to redefine maternity in an attempt to subvert the feminine and manipulate reproduction.  Such reproduction has been acknowledged readily in “Frankenstein,” but can also be found in texts such as “Dracula” and “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”  What these three texts have in common is their examination of alternative reproduction, and their Darwinian interest in the evolution of a species not hampered by the uncertain womb.  The product of this experiment, however, is literally monstrous.  “Purposeful Progeny” examines the production of monstrosity as an alternative to traditional reproduction, examining the role of maternity and the possible consequences of circumnavigating the uterus.

Showalter, Elaine.  “The Female Malady.”  London: Virago Press, 2008.

Auto-Bio: I am a student of Gothic literature, an adjunct professor of literature and composition, and a mother of three.  My maternal state has directly impacted my scholarly research, increasing my interest in the state and representation of maternity in nineteenth-century English literature.

11:10 – 11:30

Name: Maura McGurk and Mia Grottola

Presentation Title: Listen to Your Mother: Mothers Respond When Their Children Come Out As Gay

Presentation Synopsis: The moment when gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender children “come out”, or announce themselves as LGBT, to their mothers, is a deciding one that may change the course of the mother/child relationship.  No matter the age of the child, and no matter how certain the child may be about the mother’s reaction, the declaration is a singular event. Typically, coming-out stories are presented from the LGBT perspective, and LGBT people refer to “their” coming-out stories with a sense of personal ownership.  We chose to explore the other side of the coin, interviewing mothers of LGBT children about the moment their children came out to them, and their reactions.  Mothers’ candid responses explore the diversity of reactions and how they weave through, and often recalibrate, the mother/child relationship.

Auto-Bio: Maura McGurk and Mia Grottola are an engaged couple, and active, respectively, in the fields of visual arts and theater. The idea for this presentation came from the process of “coming out” to their own mothers.

11:30 – 12:00 – Name: Saniya Ghanoui

Presentation Title:  Welcome to Roseannadu: the role of a wife and mother in Roseanne

Presentation Synopsis: Mary Richards, from the television program The Mary Tyler Moore Show, was the change women needed on television, she was a feminist. Mary was the kind and mild-mannered woman whom everybody turned to and trusted; she respected others no matter what and was able to solve nearly every problem; she always called her boss “Mr. Grant” while everybody else on the show called him “Lou;” and she never lost her hat even though she kept throwing it up in the air. Is it possible, then, for a woman on television whose primary job is to be a wife and mother to be considered a feminist? To demand equality for all genders while still fulfilling the typical “female roles” that a wife and mother are traditionally supposed to do? The answer is yes and Roseanne showed the world how. The purpose of this essay is to examine the role of a wife and mother on television and the reasons Roseanne stood out. After first examining several theoretical concepts related to the construction of gender on television and the way in which women are characterized (especially expanding on the work about motherhood done by Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels), I delve into the television show Roseanne to examine the way it changed the representation of a feminist. No longer did women have to be childless and career-minded to be equal to men or in some cases better than men, as the character Roseanne Conner declares on the show. Rather, women were able to articulate their feminists’ outlook through their opinions and expressions.

Auto-Bio: I am an MA student working towards my degree in Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU. My current research explores communication surrounding the body, the social construction of menstruation, and the social and industrial histories of the media.

12:00 – 1:30                   Lunch

Session 2 –  Sharing Personal Narratives through Art and Creativity

1:30 – 1:50

Name: Joanne Frye

Presentation Title:  “Excerpt from Biting the Moon: ‘Placentas and Other Hungers.’”

Presentation Synopsis: A reading from BITING THE MOON: A MEMOIR OF FEMINISM AND MOTHERHOOD (Syracuse University Press, 2012).  The chapter is titled, “Placentas and Other Hungers” and portrays the birth of my second daughter in 1975, while I was living on a farm in a difficult marriage, just having completed my PhD.  The reading should take approximately 20 minutes.

Auto-Bio: I am Professor Emerita of English and Women’s Studies at the College of Wooster in Ohio. I have both a personal and a scholarly interest in motherhood, having taught a course called “Feminist Perspectives on Motherhood” and published articles on mother memoirs.  I have also published two books of feminist literary criticism: LIVING STORIES, TELLING LIVES: WOMEN AND THE NOVEL IN CONTEMPORARY EXPERIENCE and TILLIE OLSEN: A STUDY OF THE SHORT FICTION.  My recently published memoir traces the intersections of my life as a mother and my developing feminist consciousness.

1:50 – 2:10

Name: Charlotte Ghiorse

Presentation Title: Pirate Mommy

Presentation Synopsis: Poems about Motherhood, Marriage and Family Life.

Auto-Bio: I am a fully time mommy of 3 kids:  5,6, &11 yrs. I have been in business for 20 years as a painter (DeKooning collection & NY State Museum), silkscreen printer, and video maker.  I write poetry, which nearly never sees the day light!  I had a band in the early 90′s called, “Johnny Happy Pants.”  And most recently a living room act called, “gonna kiss your girlfriend” from 2007-2010.  I would love to read my Poems at the MUSEUM of Motherhood. wow.   (my youtube channel is called: “sexyastrology” my website: charlotteg.com)

2:10 – 2:30

Name: Kristen Treinen
Presentation Title: Slurring My Text: Confessions of a Drunk Mother.

Presentation Synopsis: “Slurring My Text” is a peformance about one mother’s struggle with alcohol, motherhood, and professional life. Through narrative, the issues facing a woman defined by multiple roles explores how she found  herself “slipping” away from her roles as mother and professional.

Auto-Bio: I am an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Minnesota State University Mankato. I research areas including pedagogy, and racism. I am currently interested in examining motherhood and communicative practices.
2:30 – 2:50 –

Name: Ronni Komarow

Presentation Title: Art Installation: “Diary of a Bake Sale Diva”

Presentation Synopsis: I would like to create an art installation about mothers and volunteerism — in this case specifically about volunteering for one’s child’s school. The piece speaks to the near-impossible odds that mothers face in trying to advocate for their children’s education in a society whose values are often incredibly misguided.

2:50 – 3:00                  Break

Session 3 – Motherhood in Media and Pop Culture – Fiction or Daily Realities

3:00 – 3:20

Name: Sara Hosey

Presentation Title:   “Matrophobia and Matrophilia in Young Adult Blockbusters”

Presentation Synopsis: In this presentation, I will argue that the protagonists of the recent Twilight and Hunger Games series—blockbuster novels and films—define themselves in stark contrast to the feminine identities of their mothers.  Manifesting what Adrienne Rich termed “matrophobia,” these novels present mothers as ineffectual and/or unnecessary and each protagonist’s journey results, in part, from her rejection of her mother, from her disdain for and fear of becoming like her mother.  I argue that these depictions indicate a more general cultural distancing from more traditional—and less obviously powerful—manifestations of femininity.  However, that both series conclude with the protagonists’ own transformative maternity nevertheless depicts motherhood as a vehicle of empowerment and broader cultural change.

Auto-Bio:  I teach English and Women’s Studies at Nassau Community College in Long Island New York.  I’ve published articles on representations of the toxic housewife, depictions of disability in American literature, and the use of the rhetoric of the “second shift” in discussions of caregiving and housekeeping.  I’m currently working on a book-length project focused on representations of home and domesticity.


3:20 – 3:40 – Diana Pfaff

From Lesbianism to Invisibility: How Lesbian Mothers Disappear

In her essay “From Lesbianism to Invisibility: How Lesbian Mothers Disappear”, Diana Pfaff examines the impact of heteronormativity on lesbian mothers as an identity transforming force and a generator of anxiety in family life and legal matters. With data collected through exploratory in-depth interviews from seven lesbian mothers, Pfaff explores the different strategies birth mothers, comothers and stepmothers employ to negotiate their conflicting identities. Pfaff explores the constructed notion of the “natural” mother, contrasting it with the idea of lesbian motherhood.  She links the degree of difficulty of assessing a socially tolerated identity particularly for the comother, who lacks biological and often legal ties to the child, mainly to the patriarchal and heteronormative nature of language that fails to provide necessary tools to describe lesbian motherhood, rendering biological mothers and comothers practically invisible.

Diana Pfaff is a senior student at Marymount Manhattan College. She is graduating this fall, earning her degree in English and World Literature.

3:40 – 4:00

Name: Paula G. Rosario

Presentation Title: Why Teeter on the Edge of Balance?  When You Can Thrive On The Edge of Greatness!

Presentation Synopsis: Throughout history moms have been the glue of the family and the concentric circles around all of their lives.  Today, the ideal of balance is just that; an ideal.  Learning how to embrace the flow of it all creates something more valuable than balance; harmony.  The proposal will explore how to:
-make conscious decisions about your time and energy
-listen to the boss (the one in your heart; not your head)
-get clear about what isn’t working
-practice saying no gracefully
-locate and active your self-thriving muscle
-maximize supporters and minimize naysayers
-honor challenges and celebrate successes

Attendees will feel validated and heard and learn how to shatter the “enough-ness” myth, become self-thrivers and shift from stressed to serene!

Auto-Bio:  Diana Pfaff is a senior student at Marymount Manhattan College. She is graduating this fall, earning her degree in English and World Literature.

4:00 – 4:20

Name: Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC
Presentation Title: How to Look, Feel and Live Your Best

Presentation Synopsis: How can you create a lean, fit body, radiant health, soaring confidence, rewarding relationships, endless energy and an optimistic outlook? Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach will share proven strategies to unleash your ultimate body, mind, image and lifestyle. You’ll learn the secret to becoming your personal and professional best so you can live the life you want most.

Auto-Bio: Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach, a mom of 4, President of Lifestyle Fitness, Inc. and founder of www.TheMojoCoach.com is a leading authority in the fields of health, fitness, lifestyle and personal development who’s branded The Mojo Coach because she’s personally led hundreds of clients to achieve their ultimate body, mind, image and lifestyle: inspiring them to “get their mojo back” and helping them transform into their personal/professional best. In addition to being a highly awarded and credentialed health expert, Debi’s a featured expert on over 15 websites, a popular radio guest, regularly quoted online and in print, has been featured as a self-improvement expert in 4 books and has contributed articles and insight to Working Mother, Ladies Home Journal, Shape.com, Self.com, More, WebMd and many more. She’s the author of 2 books recommended by Parenting Magazine, Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy, Marshall Goldsmith and many more and is THE secret behind some of the healthiest, most influential, charismatic and successful professionals today.

4:30 – 5:00 – DVD presentation

Name: Ruth Nemzoff

Presentation Title: Changing relationship between mothers and their adult children

Presentation Synopsis: In the first decade of the 20th century, average life expectancy was less than 20 years. Since that time, life expectancy has grown steadily. Mothers spend considerably more time as parents of adult children than they do as parents of dependent children.

Auto-Bio: Resident scholar at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center, author of Don’t Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with Your Adult Children (Palgrave/Macmillian 2008)

—————————————–EVENING SESSION———————————–

7:30 – 9:00 VOICES OF WOMEN

Academic Committee

Dr. Laura Tropp is an Associate Professor of Communication and Chair of the Communication Arts Department at Marymount Manhattan College, a small liberal arts college located in New York City. For the past five years, Dr. Tropp has been exploring representations of pregnancy and motherhood in media. A piece titled,  “Faking a Sonogram’: Representations of Motherhood on Sex and the City” appeared in Journal of Popular Culture. She recently completed another manuscript titled “The Backseat Pregnancy: Fetuses, Fathers, and Television” which examines fatherhood and pregnancy.  She is currently at work on a book-length manuscript on pregnancy and media titled, A Womb with a View: Pregnancy in Changing Media Environments. Laura’s work has allowed her to talk to pregnant mothers across the country and to explore the representation of pregnancy in popular culture on-line, on television, in film, and in unexpected aspects of society.

Aurelie Athan, Ph.D. is a full-time lecturer and MA Program Coordinator in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. She studies positive adaptation across the lifespan with a focus on women’s development. Her current research is on the subjective well-being of mothers. She aims to re-conceptualize postpartum psychopathology using a feminist lens and to illuminate women’s positive experiences of adaptation and spirituality within the institution of motherhood. Concurrently, she is critically examining the history of funding for women’s health research/female scientists and promoting the rationale for the creation of a new interdisciplinary field of maternal theory.

Dr. Jocelyn Fenton Stitt is an associate professor of gender and women’s studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She received her PhD in English Literature and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan. She co-edited two books: Before Windrush: Recovering a Black and Asian Literary History within Britain (2008) and Mothers Who Deliver: Feminist Interventions in Public and Interpersonal Discourse (2010). Stitt is active in Caribbean studies and feminist mothering studies. She is currently working on a book project about the intersection of Caribbean women’s autobiographies and global histories of the slave trade and colonization. It is tentatively titled: Atlantic Autobiographies: Women Writing the Global as Personal Narrative.

Elizabeth Podnieks is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and the Graduate Program in Communication and Culture at Ryerson University, Toronto. Her teaching and research interests include motherhood, modernism, life writing, popular/celebrity culture, and scholarly editing. She is the author of Daily Modernism: The Literary Diaries of Virginia Woolf, Antonia White, Elizabeth Smart, and Anaïs Nin (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2000), and the co-editor of Hayford Hall: Hangovers, Erotics, and Modernist Aesthetics (Southern Illinois UP, 2005). Podnieks has also guest edited two special issues of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies: Summer 2002, and Summer 2009. She is the editor of Rough Draft: The Modernist Diaries of Emily Holmes Coleman, 1929-1937 (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012).

Joy Rose, Founding Director M.O.M.




2012 Upcoming presenation in March at the Minnesota Social Service Association (mssa)conference.

MSSA is a leader in human service education and public policy.  This conference blends keynote speakers, topic driven panels and workshops to provide attendees with the tools and techniques they need to compete in a changing world.

Work Family Balance: Mother in the Mix – Online Course Nov./Dec. 2011

This session will look at why work and family balance is so difficult. We will provide context on how the social construction of motherhood and the history of family policy has affected this issue and examine how race, social class and sexual orientation affects the perception of balance.

National Women’s Studies conference held in Atlanta in September, 2011·

Informed attendees about the newly opened Museum of Motherhood in New York City.  The mission of The Museum of Motherhood is to promote education, start conversations, and feature thought-provoking exhibits. We believe a more comprehensive understanding of pregnancy, birth and the value of mother-work will lead to healthier and happier homes, more productive workplaces and better social policies. This is imperative information for those studying Women and Gender Studies. Promoted the newly formed on line workshop on Work Life Balance currently being offered through Extended Learning at MNSU. Balancing work and family is the new face of women striving for equality.

Attended a panel regarding the new area of Mother Studies.  Currently, a program of this kind is being started as a combined certificate and MA in Gender and Women’s Studies at MNSU. This program will be the first of its kind.  A very “Big Idea” we’ve been working on since 2010!