Launch Event for “Mothering’s Many Labours” Past & Present Supplement No. 15

Received from the IHR Women’s History Seminar 

On Friday 15th January (17:15-19:00 London time) the Womens’ History Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, London will be hosting – virtually via Zoom – a roundtable and launch celebration event for “Mothering’s Many Labours” Past & Present’s fifteenth annual supplement. The supplement has been edited by Prof. Emma Griffin (University of East Anglia) and Prof. Sarah Knott (University of Indiana).

Full details of the event and how to register can be found below:

Could any historical topic be more prescient, in pandemic times, than that of maternal labour? Mothering’s Many Labours (published by Past & Present) conceived and researched before COVID-19, explores the history of maternal labour: the range of mothering figures, the variety of activities, the social and economic importance. Maternity has typically been associated with emotion: a result of the long western history of “motherlove” and of attachment theory, with its focus on the bonds of the mother-baby dyad. Mothering’s Many Labours addresses the topic by borrowing concepts and questions from feminist theory, sociology and economics and from an archive of feminist activism. Undertaken by scholars of a variety of generations, the volume gathers an invigorated feminist history attentive to the past and to the changing circumstances of our own day.

Sarah Knott is Sally M. Reahard Professor of History at Indiana University and Research Fellow of the Kinsey Institute. She is the author, most recently, of Mother Is A Verb: An Unconventional History (New York, 2019).

R.J. Knight is a Lecturer in American History at the University of Sheffield, specialising in the history of slavery, women, and children in the US south. She is currently working on her first book, which examines mothering and women’s social and economic relationships under slavery.

Helen McCarthy is Reader in Modern and Contemporary British History at the University of Cambridge and author of three books, most recently, Double Lives: A History of Working Motherhood in Modern Britain (Bloomsbury, 2020).

Diana Paton is William Robertson Professor at the University of Edinburgh and a historian of the Caribbean. She is co-editor of special issues of Slavery and Abolition and Women’s History Review on ‘Mothering Slaves: Comparative Perspectives on Motherhood, Childlessness and the Care of Children in Atlantic Slave Societies’.

Christine Whyte is a Lecturer in Global History specialising in the history of empire, children and childhood, and the abolition of slavery in West Africa. She is currently a British Academy / Wolfson Fellow working on a project about children emancipated from the slave trade in the 19th century.

Emma Griffin is Professor of British History at UEA and the author of five books, including most recently Bread Winner: An Intimate History of the Victorian Economy. She is the President of the Royal Historical Society and an co-editor of the Historical Journal.

Details about how to join the virtual event will be circulated via email to registered attendees 24 hours in advance- bookings will therefore close a day before the advertised seminar date.

All welcome- but booking is required. Register for the event here.

“Mothering’s Many Labours” cover artwork (cover art work and this graphic courtesy of Oxford University Press and used by permission, 2020)

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