MotherNet Newsletter

MotherNet Events

On 20-22 January the MotherNet kick-off meeting took place online at Vilnius University. In addition to discussing future activities, partner obligations and the timeline of the project, the aim of the meeting was to form cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural research clusters that would work together during the three-year life span of the project and beyond. More information and updates of the meeting can be found here.
The first of MotherNet outreach events, Ššš, mama dirba (Hush, Mum’s Working) was scheduled to coincide with the Lithuanian Mother’s Day (the 1st Sunday in May). It took place online on 29 April 2021 and was organised by Vilnius University. Since the original event – the opening of the exhibition Portrait of a (Working) Mother featuring a round table discussion on motherhood and work – was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions; the event was replaced with an online equivalent tailored to reflect on the situation of working mothers during Covid-19 induced lockdown as seen through their eyes of their children. Children were invited to send photos of their mothers at work. The pictures as well as the strains of mothering (and parenting more broadly) were discussed by the forum of the children themselves, their mothers, one father and a panel of experts. More information can be found here.
On 14 -18 June 2021, the first MotherNet Summer-School was held online at Maynooth University. Summer schools are designed to respond to the training needs identified on an ongoing basis, with a key focus on interdisciplinary working, narrative research methods and engaged research methods. In line with the stage of the project, this summer school focused primarily on the principles and practices of interdisciplinary working, designing collaborative research projects, designing engaged research projects and research methodologies. Find the Summer School programme here.

MotherNet Training Activities

The MotherNet mentoring programme has been successfully rolled out. Thirteen mentor-mentee pairs have been formed who by this stage have all worked out the individual goals of the mentees. You can find out more about the mentoring programme here.
Four MotherNet Research Seminars have been held at Vilnius University on the following topics:
  • Still Waters Run Deep: The Invisible Life of Working Mothers with Disabilities in Lithuania (Ciara Bradley, Violeta Gevorgianienė, Eglė Šumskienė)
  • Eglė – žalčių karalienė: “Mano vaikai visada liks žalčio vaikais” (Inga Hilbig, Vitalija Kazlauskienė)// (Eglė Queen of Snakes: “My Children Will Always be the Children of the Grassnake”)
  • The Silence of the Mothers (Eglė Kačkutė)
  • The first meeting was dedicated to introductions and networking.
Topics of upcoming Research seminars can be found here.

VU organises regular classes in Academic English for Vilnius University participants. These classes are targeted towards preparing academic presentations in English (to support the researchers to present at international conferences) and writing for academic purposes (to support the researchers to prepare articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals).
With the aim to support early stage researchers (ESR) an ESR Forum was established, consisting of the seven ESRs in the network. The ESR forum offers a supportive network and an opportunity to share experiences. Members of this Forum meet Online bi-monthly.
  • The very first meeting was dedicated to the introductions, identifications of expectations and suggestions and technical aspects of further work.
  • The topic of the second meeting was National Perspectives on Motherhood and Mothering. The three countries represented in MotherNet have differing approaches to motherhood/ mothering, national motherhood ideals, ideas on feminism, abortion, childcare systems, balancing professional work and childcare, the LGBTQ+ community, etc. Therefore, the aim of this seminar was to present and discuss differing approaches in order to find some common ground for discussion and further collaboration in comparative studies.
  • The third meeting was organized in the form of a workshop on academic writing, with the focus on academic texts by ESR members.

Coming up:

The Midterm Research Workshop will be held on 19-21 January 2022 in Vilnius. This workshop will allow the members of the wider network to come together to share initial results of their research projects. It will be informal and will focus on work-in-progress with panels devoted to different topics, where points of convergence between projects and approaches can be identified and explored further. The Midterm Research workshop will also feature round-table discussions with stakeholders, who will have the opportunity to feed into the research as it develops in line with the goals of Engaged Research methodologies. This will present the researchers in the network with opportunities to put into practice the research methodologies that they have learned about in the Summer Schools. They will also offer additional opportunities for networking with external stakeholders. The Midterm Research workshop may also feed into publications, either through providing researchers with a forum to present the initial findings of research that will then be developed into papers or through developing special issues of journals or edited volumes that bring together articles or chapters initially presented at the workshops. The programme for the Midterm Research workshop will be advertised on the project website and via social media.

Have a great summer and see you all in Vilnius in 2022!
P.S.: We will keep a close look on the Covid-19 situation and will behave accordingly. For those who cannot travel, the workshop will be live streamed. 
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