Studies in the Maternal

Studies in the Maternal is an international, peer-reviewed, scholarly online journal. It aims to provide a forum for contemporary critical debates on the maternal – understood as lived experience, social location, political and scientific practice, economic and ethical challenge, a theoretical question, and a structural dimension in human relations, politics and ethics.

Studies in the Maternal provides an interdisciplinary space to extend and develop maternal scholarship, making visible the many diverse strands of work on motherhood, parenting, reproduction, pregnancy, birthing, and childcare across a broad range of disciplinary and practice boundaries. In doing so, it aims to foster dialogue about the maternal and to encourage the exploration of the unique site the maternal occupies at the potent intersection between scientific possibilities, psychosocial practices and cultural representations.

We are seeking articles, essays and reviews from academics, writers, artists and clinical and cultural practitioners who engage with the maternal from diverse perspectives. We also very much welcome work that falls outside of the textual tradition, incorporating or encompassing the visual and/or audio.

We are especially interested in work in the areas of:

  • maternal experience, maternal identities, and maternal subjectivities;
  • maternal and pregnant embodiment and affectivity;
  • racial, ethnic, national and transnational geneologies of maternity
  • the cultural politics of reproduction, natality and birth, including the impact, meanings, historiesand possibilities that arise from new reproductive technologies;
  • the political possibilities that arise from understandings of the maternal in the context of global/local, neo-liberal, late-capitalist conditions;
  • maternal desires, sexualities and genders, queer maternal bodies, and trans-familial practices.
  • fatherhood and the paternal;
  • maternal aesthetics and representations of the maternal in literature, performance, digital and visual culture;
  • cultural representations of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mothering;
    maternal ethics and its relation to the ethics of care.

The journal is published twice yearly. The May issue is an Open Issue which may include contributions pertaining to any topic. The October issue is organised around a specific theme.

Those wishing to submit contributions for consideration for the Open Issue should send their work to the editors, Lisa Baraitser and Sigal Spigel, at

Please consult our submission guidelines for details of the file formats that can be accepted.

International Advisory Board:

  • Rachel Bowlby, Northcliffe Professor of English, University College London
  • Susan Golombok, Professorial Fellow of Newnham College and Director of the Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge
  • Kirsty Gunn, Author, Professor of Creative writing, University of Dundee
  • Juliet Mitchell, Psychoanalyst, Professor Emeritus, University of Cambridge, and Director of the Expanded Doctoral School in Psychoanalytic Studies, University College London
  • Lynne Segal, Anniversary Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies, Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck
  • Helen Simpson, Author, UK
  • Joan Raphael-Leff, Psychoanalyst, Anna Freud Centre, and Visiting Professor, University of Stellenbosch