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Advice to Mothers

20 June 2008
Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick

Organiser: Dr Angela Davis

The focus of the workshop is to look at the advice given to women and girls as mothers and potential mothers through the media and popular culture, education, politics, psychologists, health care professionals and within the family. The workshop will seek to examine the advice women and girls received on all aspects of motherhood, the relationship of women to the advice, the intentions of those giving the advice, the figures from women sought for advice and whether these sources were changing over time. The workshop will pose a number of questions, including whether advisors were seeking to encourage or coerce mothers to fulfil particular roles society assigned to them, and how this was determined by the ethnicity, class, age and locality of both the advisors and the women they advised.


Registration and coffee


Rima Apple ( Wisconsin) Keynote speaker

Angela Davis (Warwick)
‘‘Oh no nurse, don’t want any of that rubbish’, women, reproduction and attitudes to advice’


Session I: Mid-century advice
Rachel Ritchie (Manchester)
‘‘Turn to me’ says Ursula Bloom…’

Ali Haggett (Exeter)
‘The ‘feminist mystique’: Mothers and women’s magazines in post-war Britain’

Rachel Lock-Lewis (University of Wales, Newport)
‘Women’s experiences of motherhood in Newport and Cwmbran’


Session II: Contemporary experiences
Harriet Gross (Lincoln)
‘Women's experiences and the context of broadening advice’

Holly Powell Kennedy (King’s College London)
Laughing at the dark? Interpreting media messages about childbirth’

Geraldine Brown, Geraldine Brady, Corinne Wilson and Gayle Letherby (Coventry and Plymouth)
‘Young mothers and ‘professional’ advice and support’

Coffee and departures