Queen Mary University of London/ 4 November 2019

We are seeking participants for a workshop on medieval and early modern motherhood. In recent years, scholarship has sought to illuminate motherhood in the medieval and early modern world as a distinct category of experience in the lives of women. This workshop will consider the various ways in which pre-modern motherhood was medicalised, moralised, theorised and visualised from conception and pregnancy through to childbirth, child-rearing and other ‘alternative’ ways of mothering.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Rituals of motherhood such as churching or lying-in ceremonies
  • Breastfeeding and infant feeding
  • Midwives and mothers; wet-nurses and mothers
  • Advice to mothers
  • Women’s writings about motherhood
  • Religion and motherhood (including saints and spiritual motherhood)
  • Maternal authority, particularly over children
  • Relationships between mothers and fathers

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent to by 14 June. Please indicate in your email whether you would like to present a traditional 20-minute paper or a 5-10-minute overview of your research. We especially welcome PhD students and ECRs.

If you have any questions, please contact Catherine Maguire or Lauren Cantos.