AHRC Motherhood Network Research Profiles

Steering Group Members

Lisa Baraitser is a feminist writer, psychotherapist, Senior Lecturer and head of the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is author of Maternal Encounters: The Ethics of Interruption (Routledge, 2009) that won the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association book prize for outstanding feminist scholarship in 2009.

Victoria Browne has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Liverpool, and is currently Visiting Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire in the Department of Philosophy. Victoria’s main research interests are in feminist philosophy and the philosophy of history and temporality. Her publications include ‘Backlash, Repetition, Untimeliness: The Temporal Dynamics of Feminist Politics’ (Hypatia, 2013, available on ‘early view’), and ‘Memory and the Metaphysics of Music’ (Women: a Cultural Review, 2011). She has also written reviews for Radical Philosophy and Environmental Values, and is developing her PhD thesis - ‘Feminist Historiography and the Reconceptualisation of Historical Time’ - for publication as a monograph.

Adalgisa Giorgio is Senior Lecturer in Italian and Italian Language Convenor in the Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies at the University of Bath, where she is also Chair of the Equalities & Diversity Network. She studied at the Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples, and the University of Reading.  Her main areas of research are Italian contemporary women’s writing and post-war narrative on Naples. Her publications include articles on Fabrizia Ramondino, Elsa Morante, Natalia Ginzburg, Edith Bruck and Marosia Castaldi. She has worked in particular on the mother-daughter bond and has edited the summative collection Writing Mothers and Daughters: Renegotiating the Mother in Western European Narratives by Women (2002). Her interest in women’s writing within the European context continued with the publication of the volume, co-edited with Julia Waters, entitled Women’s Writing in Western Europe: Gender, Generation and Legacy (2007). She is currently preparing an edited volume on Fabrizia Ramondino and working on a monograph on contemporary Neapolitan writing. She is the recipient of an Erasmus Mundus grant which will take her to Wellington (NZ) in 2013, to research Italian and Maori-Italian identities in relation to European identity.

Roberta Guerrina is Senior Lecturer and Head of the School of Politics at the University of Surrey. She is a European policy analyst with a particular interest in European social policy, citizenship policy and gender equality. She has published in the area of women’s human rights, work-life balance, identity politics and the idea of Europe. She is the author of Mothering the Union: Gender Politics in the EU (Manchester University Press, 2005) and Europe: History, Ideas and Ideologies (Arnold, 2002).

Clare Hanson has written and edited nine books, the most recent being A Cultural History of Pregnancy (Palgrave, 2004) and Eugenics, Literature and Culture in Post-war Britain (Routledge, 2012). She has published widely on 20th- and 21st- century women’s writing and is co-editor, with Susan Stanford Friedman, of the journal Contemporary Women’s Writing (OUP). Her current research focuses on new models of inheritance, and she is currently leading an AHRC-funded  project entitled Beyond the Gene: Epigenetic Science in 21st-Century Culture.

Emily Jeremiah’s research interests include gender, ethics, mothering, translation, and transnationalism. She is the author of Troubling Maternity: Mothering, Agency, and Ethics in Women's Writing in German of the 1970s and 1980s (Maney/MHRA, 2003), and of a forthcoming monograph, Nomadic Ethics in Contemporary Women's Writing in German: Strange Subjects (Camden House, 2012). With Frauke Matthes, she is currently co-editing Ethical Approaches in Contemporary German-Language Literature and Culture (Edinburgh German Yearbook 7, 2013). Emily is also an award-winning translator of Finnish poetry and fiction. Her translations include Eeva-Liisa Manner, Bright, Dusky, Bright (Waterloo Press, 2009), and Asko Sahlberg, The Brothers (translated with Fleur Jeremiah, Peirene Press, 2012).

Abigail Lee Six is Professor of Spanish at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has published on a wide range of Spanish writers dating from the 19th century to the present day, but most recently has been working to bring the usefulness of Gothic studies to the attention of Hispanists and to demonstrate the relevance of Hispanic texts to Gothic scholars beyond the Pyrenees. This research has produced several articles and two monographs so far, one on the fiction of the contemporary novelist Adelaida García Morales, Haunting Words (Boydell & Brewer, 2006) and the other, Gothic Terrors (Bucknell University Press, 2010), on a selection of mainstream writers including Galdós, Pardo Bazán, Unamuno, and Cela.

Gill Rye is Emeritus Professor and Associate Fellow at The Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London. She is Director of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing and directs the AHRC-funded Motherhood in post-1968 European Literature Network. Her research centres on contemporary women’s writing in French and she has convened the Contemporary Women’s Writing in French seminar since 2000. Her main publications include Narratives of Mothering (2009), Reading for Change (2001), Women’s Writing in Contemporary France (co-edited with Michael Worton, 2002), and ‘When familiar meanings dissolve ...’: Essays in French Studies in Memory of Malcolm Bowie (co-edited with Naomi Segal, 2011), plus numerous articles and chapters, and several edited and co-edited journal special issues. Forthcoming are three publications on 21st-century women's writing in French, co-edited with Amaleena Damlé, a special issue of Dalhousie French Studies on the author Marie Darrieussecq, co-edited with Helena Chadderton, and an edited special issue of Forum for Modern Language Studies on writing childhood.

Godela Weiss-Sussex's main research interests lie in the German culture and literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. Her two current research projects focus firstly on feminism and eugenics in novels written by members of the League for the Protection of Mothers (Bund für Mutterschutz) in the first two decades of the 20th century; and secondly on concepts of  Jewishness and femininity in the work of German-speaking Jewish women writers in Berlin 1900-1938. This latter project builds on a conference volume she co-edited with Andrea Hammel in 2009, 'Not an Essence but a Positioning': German-Jewish Women Writers (1900-1938) (2009). Other publications include: London German Studies XII: 'The Racehorse of Genius'. Literary and Cultural Comparisons (co-edited with Martin Liebscher and Ben Schofield, 2009); ‘Verwisch’ die Spuren!’. Bertolt Brecht’s Work and Legacy – A Reassessment (co-edited with Robert Gillett, 2008); Berlin. Kultur und Metropole in den Zwanziger und seit den Neunziger Jahren (co-edited with Ulrike Zitzlsperger, 2007); Metropolitan Chronicles. Georg Hermann's Berlin Novels 1897 to 1912 (2000).

Claire Williams lectures in Lusophone Literature and Culture at the University of Oxford, where she is a Fellow of St Peter's College. Her research and publications focus on women’s writing and minority writing from the Lusophone world, particularly Clarice Lispector (Brazil), Maria Gabriela Llansol and Maria Ondina Braga (Portugal), and Lília Momplé (Mozambique). Dr Williams is a past President of WISPS (Women in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies) and the General Secretary of ABIL (Association for British and Irish Lusitanists).

International Advisory Board Members

Marina d’Amelia has been teaching Modern History at Rome's La Sapienza University since 1980. Her main research focuses are family history and women’s/gender history in the public sphere and in connection to political power. Among other topics, Professor d’Amelia published on the influence of the mother within family dynamics and strategies, on the role of widows in noble families, as well as on violence in the family during ancien régime-society. Her more recent interests revolve around the changing role of mothers, from the ancien régime to modern society, national stereotypes in transcultural perspective, female primary sources, and the last two centuries of motherhood in popular culture. A list of recent publications includes Storia della Maternità, (Laterza Editore, 1997), and La Mamma, (il Mulino, 2005). Along with other historians, Professor d’Amelia founded the interdisciplinary journal on women, Memoria, from 1981 to 1991 the point of reference for women’s research, and the Italian Women Historians Society. From 2002 to 2004, Professor d’Amelia was also editor for Genesis, the Italian Women Historians Society journal. Professor d’Amelia is currently a member of the doctoral program in Family History and Gender Identity, of the scientific board of the Nilde Lotti Foundation, and of the editorial office of the journal Dimension e Problemi della Ricerca Storica.

Christine Battersby is Reader Emerita in the Department of Philosophy and an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Research in Philosophy and Literature at the University of Warwick. Central to her research interests is the neglect of female embodiment and natality in western metaphysics, as well as a concern to ask what happens to our notion of identity if we take the ‘female’ (not ‘feminine’) subject-position as norm. Her research is thoroughly interdisciplinary, and draws on the visual arts and literature, as well as on some neglected strands of the history of western philosophy, in order to develop a ‘fleshy metaphysics’. She is the author of Gender and Genius: Towards a Feminist Aesthetics (The Women’s Press & Indiana University Press, 1989/1994); The Phenomenal Woman: Feminist Metaphysics and the Patterns of Identity (Polity/Routledge, 1998) and The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference (Routledge, 2007), plus numerous articles on feminist aesthetics, feminist metaphysics and the history of philosophy and culture. She was co-editor of Going Australian (Hypatia, 2000) and, from 1996 to 2000, General Editor of Women’s Philosophy Review. In Spring 2013 she will be Visiting Fleishhacker Chair of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco.

Anne Cadoret, who studied social anthropology in Paris in the 1970s, has been a researcher at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) in Paris. After having worked in Spain (Andalucia) at the beginning of her career as an anthropologist, she became interested in parenthood in France, studying foster families and proposing the notion of plural parenthood in Parenté plurielle : anthropologie du placement familial  (L’Harmattan, 1995). She then worked on same-sex families in Des parents comme les autres : homosexualité et parenté (Editions O. Jacob, 2002) and most recently on the construction of adoptive kinship. In her published work, she demonstrates how these families challenge the classic model of parenthood – of one father and one mother – as well as the supposed link between sexuality, procreation, marriage and kinship, thus calling into question the symbolic order and traditional sexual politics. Her most recent articles are: ‘Peut-on rapprocher la gestation pour autrui de l’adoption ? De la maternité éclatée à la maternité plurielle’ (Recherches sociologiques et anthropologiques, 2010); ‘Du bien/enfant à l’enfant/sujet : les statuts des adoptés à l’international’ (Revue des sciences sociales, 2011), and ‘La famille homoparentale en France : une révolution tranquille ?’ (Enfances, familles, générations, 2011).

Gayle Letherby researches and writes in a variety of areas including reproductive and non/parental identity; working and learning in higher education; crime and deviance and travel mobilities. She is also interested in all things methodological, particularly the politics of the research process and product. Her research in the area of reproductive and non/parental identity includes projects concerned with the experience of pregnancy loss, infertility and involuntary childlessness, teenage pregnancy and young parenthood and pregnancy complicated by long-term conditions. She is also interested in representations – media, medical, literary and political –  of non/motherhood. Key publications and current work includes:  Feminist Research in Theory and Practice (Open University, 2003), Gender, Identity and Reproduction: Social Science Perspectives (co-edited with S. Earle, Macmillan, 2003); Extending Social Research: Application, Implementation, Presentation (co-edited with P. Bywaters, Open University, 2007); Objectivity and Subjectivity in Social Research (with J. Scott and M. Williams, Sage, 2012); Mothers and Others: Hierarchies and Continuums (Macmillan, 2013).

Letizia Mencarini is Associate Professor of Demography at the Political Science Faculty of University of Turin (I). She is a Research Affiliate at Collegio Carlo Alberto, Moncalieri, I, a member of CHILD – Center for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (University of Turin & ESPE), a Fellow at the Centre for Research on Social Dynamics Dondena at Bocconi University, Milan, and a Research Associate at ISER –  MISOC, the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change at the University of Essex. Her research interests include life cycle and family formation, time use, gender issues, and wellbeing and demographic dynamics both in developed and developing countries. She is a member of the Scientific Board of Population Review and Genus demographic journals and part of the editorial board of a website on population, society and politics, www.neodemos.it.

Patricia O’Byrne lectures in Hispanic Studies and Comparative Literature in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University, where she directs the undergraduate programme on Contemporary Culture and Society. Her principal research interest is in post-war Spanish women novelists and, in particular, the recovery of the lesser-known voices. At present she is working on a manuscript for Tamesis Books entitled Post-war Spanish Women Novelists and the Recuperation of Historical Memory. Other publications include ‘Popular fiction in post-war Spain: The Soothing Subversive 'novela rosa'’ (Journal of Romance Studies, 2008), ‘Education for Marriage or Education for Life? The Challenge of Post-War Spanish Women Novelists to the Francoist Approach to the Education of Women’ in Dominant Culture and the Education of Women (2008), The Testimonial Literature of 20th-Century Spanish Women Novelists: Two Cases in Romance Studies (2008), and (jointly edited) Transcultural Encounters amongst Women: Redrawing Boundaries in Hispanic and Lusophone Art, Literature and Film (2010).

Carrie Smith-Prei received her PhD in 2006 in Germanic Languages and Literatures at Washington University. She taught at the University of Potsdam, held positions as international doctoral fellow at the Free University Berlin and postdoctoral scholar at Trinity College Dublin, and worked as a lecturer in the Department of German at the National University of Ireland at Maynooth until joining the University of Alberta in 2008. Her research deals with gender, family politics, representations of mothers and children, contemporary feminisms, negative aesthetics, affect, the literary market, and the private sphere and she has published on topics in German cultural studies, film and media studies, and literature from 1960 to the contemporary period. She is currently working on a monograph on family politics and literature in 1960s West Germany and has co-edited the 2010 issue of Germanistik in Ireland on lesbian representations in German-language culture.

Susan Watkins is Reader in 20th-Century Women’s Fiction in the School of Cultural Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University. She is the author of Twentieth-Century Women Novelists: Feminist Theory into Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001) and Doris Lessing (Manchester University Press, 2010). She is also co-editor of Studying Literature: A Practical Introduction (Harvester, 1995), Scandalous Fictions: The Twentieth-Century Novel in the Public Sphere (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and Doris Lessing: Border Crossings (Continuum, 2009). She is Chair of the Contemporary Women’s Writing Association (CWWA), associate editor of the Oxford University Press journal, Contemporary Women’s Writing, and co-editor of the Journal of Commonwealth Literature. In 2006 she co-edited, with Mary Eagleton, a special issue of The Journal of Gender Studies on The Future of Fiction: The Future of Feminism and she is currently working on contemporary women’s post-apocalyptic fictions.