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Annual Lecture: Prof. Wendy Hollway - "Becoming a mother, gender and feminism"

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Location: S0.19 (Social Sciences Building)


hollwayYou are warmly invited to this year's CSWG Annual Lecture. The lecture is open to all and will be followed by a reception.

Speaker: Prof. Wendy Hollway (Open University)

Discussant: Dr. Julie Walsh (University of Warwick)


Becoming a mother, gender and feminism

The period of becoming a mother is a fundamental issue for feminism and a challenging one for the transdisciplinary study of women and gender, involving experiences that are hard to access through available language and discourses. How we understand, theorise and represent the perinatal period of mothering reaches into questions of gender equality and gender difference, parenting and how we treat women's reproductive bodies and the biological. To explore these themes, my talk draws on a piece of empirical research about becoming a mother for the first time, using Bracha Ettinger’s matrixial theory to point beyond the binaries in accounts of women’s reproductive capacities, parental care and gender equality.

WENDY HOLLWAY is Emeritus Professor in Psychology at the Open University. She is interested in applying psychoanalytic principles to theorising subjectivity, to methodology and to empirical research on identity, especially with reference to gender. Her ESRC-funded research on the transition to a maternal identity uses both free association narrative interview and psychoanalytic observation methods. Her most recent book is ‘Knowing Mothers: Researching Maternal Identity Change’, 2015, Palgrave.


A summary and discussion of the annual lecture can be found in the following post, on the CSWG blog: "The Discomfort of Becoming a Mother", by Yara Richter and Wendy Hollway.


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