Motherhood, Mobility, Migration Symposium

Maynooth University, Iontas Building, North Campus, Maynooth, Co Kildare, Ireland 14-15 June 2018


Confirmed keynote: Dr Irene Gedalof (London Metropolital University)


Call for Papers

In alignment with growing international mobility, more and more women find themselves mothering in countries other than those in which they were born. According to the International Migration Report published by the United Nations, in 2015, the proportion of female migrants was 48% and they outnumbered men in Europe and North America. Furthermore, the average migrating woman is of a reproductive age (29) and comes from a country where female identity centres on motherhood (Hochschild). In the face of an evolving conceptualisation of motherhood, changing mothering practices and shifting patterns of global mobility, motherhood in the context of migration urgently needs to be redefined.

Migrant mothers are progressively stronger agents of their own lives and identities, participating in the globalised world as gendered individuals and maternal agents. However, both motherhood and migration are experiences that often fall outside of individual control. It is, therefore, important to study points of intersection between motherhood and migration, individual agency and societal structures. Migrant mothers do not constitute a homogeneous group; they often differ significantly in terms of education, class, cultural background and social and economic conditions. The circumstances and motivation for their decision to leave often vary widely. Despite these many differences, migrant mothers often find themselves facing similar issues when it comes to negotiating identity and belonging, the language(s) and cultural style(s) of mothering in the host country as well as social structures, including provision and access to childcare and integration into the work force.

Motherhood and migration has been a subject of study within feminist migration studies, sociology, literary scholarship, diaspora studies, sociolinguistics, anthropology, and gender studies to name just a few fields. Despite the rich potential of these many research perspectives on motherhood and migration, much of the terrain is still uncharted. This conference seeks to analyse connections between motherhood, mothering practices, mobility and migration by interrogating the role, the experience, and the meaning of motherhood in the face of global mobility and migration.

Researchers from a wide range of disciplines and cultural perspectives are encouraged to submit proposals for papers that engage with mothers, mothering and motherhood in relation to the following (and related) topics:

– current refugee crisis – expatriation – tied migration – economic migration – transnational adoption – assisted reproduction – diasporas – (un)belonging – cultural memory – religion – sexuality – transnationalism – multilingualism/translingualism – mobile subjectivities/identities – nomadism – international career advancement – paternity – abortion


Please send your proposals (200 words max. per proposed paper) for 20-min papers or for panels of 3 x 20-min papers, accompanied by 100-word profiles for each proposed speaker, to the organiser Eglė Kačkutė ( by 15 January 2018.

Description of the event (english translation): 
Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 09:30 to Friday, June 15, 2018 - 18:30
Maynooth University, Iontas Building, North Campus,
Scientific discipline: 
Type of event: 
Abstract submission: 
Monday, January 15, 2018

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