So far this year has brought several awards to our Network members:
  • The Early Stage Researcher from Uppsala University Lisa Grahn successfully defended her PhD thesis on Motherhood and Narration in Sara Lidman’s Railroad Epic
  • The Early Stage Researcher from Vilnius University Rūta Morkūnienė won the national “Three Minute Thesis presentation” challenge. She was coached for English language public speaking skills by MotherNet Academic English teacher Daniel Bogdanovič. You can read more about her PhD research here
  • Jenny Björklund won a stipend for the Teaching and learning internationalisation initiative.
Huge congratulations to all of them!

Outreach Events

Vilnius University outreach event ‘Myths of Motherhood: Other (Adoptive) Mothers’ took place on May 19, 2022, at the cinema “Pasaka”. It featured the screening of Giedrė Beinoriūtė’s film “Kvėpavimas į marmurą” (Breathing into Marble) followed by a discussion on representations of ambivalent motherhood and adoption. The film tells a story of a middle-class family that is profoundly changed by the adoption of a shy 6-year-old boy. This is an adaptation of Laura Sintija Černiauskaitė’s eponymous novel. Participants of the discussion were Giedrė Beinoriūtė, the director of the film, Lina Buividavičiūtė – a poet and literary critic, Lijana Gvaldaitė – Associate Professor in Social Work (Vilnius University) with a deep academic interest in adoption and child welfare, and Eglė Kačkutė – researcher in motherhood, literature and culture (Vilnius University) with Professor Muireann Maguire (University of Exeter) in attendance. The discussion was moderated by researcher and literary critic Dovilė Kuzminskaitė (Vilnius University). You can read more about the event and the discussion in the blog post by MotherNet Coordinator Eglė Kačkutė.
This event was jointly planned by Professor Muireann Maguire (University of Exeter) PI on the research project "Salt Babies: Expressing Maternity in Slavic and East European Literature and Culture" funded by the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Eglė Kačkutė. It was one of the key events in the new research network in Slavic and East European Maternal Studies (SEEMS).

Maynooth University held a variety of motherhood-related events on October 4-6. On October 4th the seminar was held with MotherNet researcher Dr Sara Sylvén from Uppsala University, Sweden and Dr Jenny Säilävaara from the Jyväskylä University, Finland with Aisling Sheils Friends of Breastfeeding Ireland and Baby Feeding Law Group Ireland. Additionally, with the Nurture and Care Project, an art exhibition and discussion with artist Valeria Alves da Florencia were held. More information on this project here
On October 5th Professor Christine Hamm (University of Bergen & AHI Visiting Fellow) had a lecture “Precarious motherhood in Norway: Maria Navarro Skaranger’s portrait of a young mother in Emily Forever” followed by a talk from Dr Jana Pelclová (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic& AHI Visiting Fellow) “Empowering mothers in Czech public discourse: A case study of Czech Public TV series Annoying Vulgar Mothers”.
On October 6th lunchtime seminar “The History of Breastfeeding in Ireland” with Dr Judy Bolger (Trinity College, Dublin), Mary Collins and Geraldine McDonnell (Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre), with Dr Edel Quirke (Chair, Friends of Breastfeeding Ireland) took place.

Other Outreach Activities

MotherNet podcasts curated by Eglė Šumskienė, MotherNet member and professor of Vilnius University Faculty of Philosophy, are a great way to follow the Network members’ research on motherhood. You can listen to podcasts (mostly but not exclusively in Lithuanian) on Spotify or you can watch the recordings on YouTube. The sixth forthcoming podcast is in English and features Professor Valerie Heffernan from Maynooth University and Dr Maja Bodin from Uppsala University. It focuses on their research on the topic of #RegrettingMotherhood. Other available podcasts are in Lithuanian and they include:
  • Karo motinos, motinų karas: motinų vaidmuo Rusijos karo Ukrainoje kontekste” [Eng. Mothers of war, war of mothers: the role of mothers in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine] had MotherNet members from Vilnius University Faculties of Philosophy and Philology discuss the intimate space of relationship between Russian mothers and their sons fighting in Ukraine.
  • Vaiko paėmimas iš šeimos: politika, praktika, tyrimai” [Eng. Child removal from the family: policy, practices, research] MotherNet member Violeta Gevorgianienė and her colleague Donata Petružytė from Vilnius University Faculty of Philosophy shared their experiences of approaching and exploring the sensitive topic of child removal from the family.
  • Jei ne motinos – ar išeivijoje gyvuotų lietuvių kalba” [Eng. If not mothers – would there be a Lithuanian language abroad] Professor Meilutė Ramonienė from Vilnius University Faculty of Philology discussed the differences in the Lithuanian identity among families migrating due to political and economic reasons.
  • Ryžių klijai vietoj motinos pieno ir kito motinystės delegavimo praktikos sovietmečiu” [Eng. Rice glue for mother’s milk and other practices of delegating motherhood during the Soviet Era] focused on the research of the Early Stage Researcher, Ieva Balčiūnė, who talked about the child abandonment practices during the Soviet era in Lithuania.
  • Mano vaikai visada liks žalčio vaikais” [Eng. My Children Will Always be the Children of the Grassnake] was dedicated to the research of MotherNet members from Vilnius University Faculty of Philology Dr Inga Hilbig and Dr Vitalija Kazlauskienė and focused on the experiences of Lithuanian mothers, who are raising their children in diaspora.
The MotherNet project has an official LinkedIn account, please follow and subscribe for more information! The official link is:
Members of the project who have their personal LinkedIn profiles (or are willing to create them) are invited to add the MotherNet project as their work experience. This will help both to promote the project and to highlight everyone’s involvement in it. If you have any additional questions about this, please contact MotherNet Project Manager Dr Jūratė Charenkova:

MotherNet Training Activities

Monthly research colloquiums offer Vilnius University researchers an opportunity to meet, share their research, engage in discussions on theories and methods, and enhance their networking and collaboration and thus the quality of research in both formal and informal ways. Five MotherNet colloquiums have been held at Vilnius University so far. For more information and topics of the colloquiums see here.
The ESR Forum continues with great success. For more information and topics of the workshops see here.
In March 2022, members of the research cluster ‘Negotiating Non-Motherhood’ spent a work week at the Faberllull residency in Olot, Spain where they spent the mornings writing their individual chapters and discussed each other’s work in the afternoons. Four people attended the residency in person and the remaining seven contributors to the book participated in the workshops via Zoom. While there, they also hosted a community outreach event on non-motherhood for Olot residents, which was well-received by the audience. The research cluster has been led by Professor Valerie Heffernan, Dr Julie Rodgers and Professor Jenny Björklund.
On June 20-23, 2022 second MotherNet Summer School took place in Uppsala, Sweden. The programme was designed to address three foci: 1. Collaborative working and mentorship; 2. Ethics and ESRs; 3. Research skills: Project management and applications. As with previous meetings that included training, the programme aimed to create optimal conditions for interdisciplinary working and cross-partner collaboration in the project. Forty-five participants joined the Summer School from across the three institutions, including PhD students/ early-stage researchers (ESRs) from the Uppsala University Literature Department who are not members of the MotherNet project.
Project Proposal Writing Workshop on 15-19 August 2022 in Lammi Biological Research Station, Finland. Members of the MotherNet are putting together two major EU grant applications, namely the Cost Action and Doctoral Networks (DN) Call: HORIZON-MSCA-2022-DN-01-01. Six researchers from all three partner universities participated in the workshop.
On 25-26 August, 2022 Dr Jennifer Redmond held her Short Scientific Mission at Vilnius University where she ran a two-day Feminist Research Workshop for post-graduate students in history, literature, and cultural studies. More on her visit here.
The second part of the MotherNet Midterm Research Workshop was held on August 31-September 1, 2022. The workshop was very informal and allowed the members of the wider network to come together to share the initial results of their research projects and to work on the many collaborative actions in progress. Several panels were dedicated to updating the networks, the research done within research clusters as well as the news from three partner institutions. The workshop featured some invited talks. Dr Agnė Matulaitė presented her phenomenological research on the inner and outer boundaries of pregnant women. Professor Vilmantė Pakalniškienė shared her experience of collaborative writing, and Dr Donata Petružytė talked about visual research methods and visual research objects. The workshop also featured a talk by MotherNet’s Dr Sigrid Schottenius Cullhed on narrative medicine. The event was accompanied by lovely evening meals and two guided tours – the Vilnius University tour and a feminist city walk of Vilnius. More on the programme of the event here.

New Members

Please welcome new MotherNet members ESR Daniela Lillhanus, Dr Maja Bodin, and Dr Loïc Bourdeau! More about their research topics on our website.

Coming up

“Bad Mothers” Workshop at Uppsala University
MotherNet members Jenny Björklund and Sigrid Schottenius Cullhed are organizing a workshop with the title “Bad mothers” at Uppsala University, on 20–21 October 2022. The aim is to provide a platform for discussing ideas about representations of mothers and mothering practices which are either permeated by a negative subjective attitude or emphasize violations of descriptive or injunctive norms (be it negatively or positively evaluated). The workshop will take the form of short presentations and discussions geared toward developing new research questions. More information will follow soon!
In addition to this, Uppsala University plans another outreach event in December 2022 on the theme of breastfeeding. Programme and registration links will be available closer to December!

Invitation to submit Papers

The deadline (30 September 2022) is coming to submit proposals for a SI of Gender, Work, Organization on Motherhood, Subjectivity and Work edited by MotherNet members Dr Anne O’ Brien (NUIM), Dr Marian Crowley-Henry (NUIM), and Dr Eglė Kačkutė (VU). A Colloquium focusing on developing academic manuscripts for the call for papers will be held on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th October, 2022 at Maynooth University. Those interested get in touch with the editors!
We invite you to submit your articles to a journal Social Theory, Empirics, Policy and Practice (STEPP) that is published by Faculty of Philosophy of Vilnius university. STEPP is a high-quality open access peer-reviewed research journal that has been published by Vilnius University for more than 20 years. Since 2016 the Journal has narrowed its focus to social work and social policy, and currently welcomes high quality theoretical and empirical original research papers in these fields.  STEPP is indexed in BASE, C.E.E.O.L., CNKI, CORE, Dimensions, DOAJ, ERIH-PLUS, Google Scholar, HEAL link (Hellenic Academic Libraries Link), Index Copernicus International, JournalTOCs, Lituanistika, Microsoft Academic, QOAM, ROAD, ScienceGate, ScienceOpen, Scilit and in WEB of Science Journal Citation Index from 2020 year. The Journal publishes twice a year in the online version. 
Click here to submit the manuscript. For more information, please visit the official website of the journal.  
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