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This Saturday (4 November) the University of Sunderland will celebrate motherhood in all its forms – from film, to personal recollections of loss, to non-traditional modern families, or ‘Otherhood’.

‘Mum’s the Word’ is a free event taking place from 10.15am-3.30pm at the Reg Vardy Building, Sir Tom Cowie Campus as part of the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) annual national Festival of Social Sciences. To book your place contact: veronique.laniel@sunderland.ac.uk

Mum’s the Word will celebrate motherhood, encompassing sociology, psychology and art and hearing personal experience, and some of the history of motherhood.

Dr Sheila Quaid is organising the conference, and giving a talk on non-traditional families and new forms of motherhood.  She says: “Our aim is to share existing research on motherhood with a wider audience but also to share experiences and hear each other’s perspectives.”

Talks and discussions will include:

  • Dr Kim Gilligan presents ‘Mam! Can I go to Beamish with school?’ – exploring the often hidden economic pressures on modern mothers.
  • Dr Roz Crawley, with ‘Recovering from stillbirth’. Dr Crawley will examine whether the experience of creating and sharing memories of stillborn babies contributes to better mental health.
  • ‘System’, an art installation by Angela Sandwith, featuring her own childhood cot.
  • In ‘Mothering on the move’ Dr Kathryn Cassidy examines the experiences of migrant mothers who travelled across Europe to the UK.
  • Representations of mothers in film, including the recent controversial movie ‘Mother!’ is the subject of Dr Anne Carruther’s talk.
  • Rebecca Baty will present a personal perspective on motherhood, and the loss of her own mother when she was aged just 13.

Dr Sheila Quaid will close the conference with ‘Identity and kinship in lesbian led donor conceived families’ when she will discuss new forms of family and motherhood.

To find out more about the Economic and Social Research Council’s annual Festival of Social Sciences go to:http://www.esrc.ac.uk/

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