About Mother Scholars
The seeds for this project were planted in the Fall of 2021 with two of us meeting at IAMAS where Akanksha was presenting and Mairi was moderating the same panel on motherhood and intergenerational trauma. That prompted our virtual collaboration and repeated, cyclical ruminations that always brought us back to this core belief that mothers are central to who/what we become- whether it’s the stories they tell us, the traumas they pass on, the love and food through which they nourish us (or not), and so on. Over the course of two seasons, we felt compelled to keep thinking-with each other, and remaining in generative conversations. Longing to expand the conversation, we considered ways to invite others in to the carrier bag that was holding our desires to reimagine our worlds beyond scarcity and individual competition. Our carrier bags were being filled by others who in different ways were attending to embodiment, mothering, and teaching and learning, and we took the risk of writing to those who became our Coven of the 13 Moons (see about us) to invite them to join us for a sustained conversation, which was made possible by our very implications in the systems of competition (e.g., the support of SSHRC, IAMAS, University of Calgary, SUNY Plattsburgh, and American Canary).
Our thinking-feeling through this terrain, rife with worldmaking possibilities, our own carrier bags have expanded to include the generous gifts of Sheliza, Stephanie, and Zoya—each of whom has been vital in the shaping of things to come.
So, we ask ourselves, and now you, if we are in this moment where the importance of the body is gradually being acknowledged in white, western, epistemic spaces such as the academe which has traditionally been premised on the mind/body duality, how can we talk about the body without talking about the mothering, daughtering, caregiving/taking body?
This is why we have gathered here, hopefully to think about carrier bags (Le Guin)- our mothers, perhaps ourselves- as the first environment that holds, nurtures, and brings forth life. How do we center a carrier bag theory of knowledge and pedagogical praxis in neoliberal institutions premised on the narrative of the action hero- narrative that progresses linearly, from the beginning, only to end with the victory of the individual, at all costs? If you have found your way to our website-carrier bag, we invite you into the conversation, to the reimagining and reworlding possibilities
Mairi McDermott, PhD
Mairi McDermott, PhD, is a motherscholar whose current passion and work is bending towards m/otherworlds. Through curriculum, pedagogy, and story, she asks how we might imagine and carry forth worlds that are shaped through compassion, care, grace, and community?
Akanksha Misra, PhD
Akanksha is a Feminist Motherscholar whose life has taken her from the shores of Malaysia to the United States via India, Turkey, and many other parts of the world. Currently an Assistant Professor in Gender and Women’s Studies at SUNY Plattsburgh, Read More
Michelann Parr, PhD
Michelann Parr is professor in the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University. Mother to three and nana to two, she works at the intersection of motherhood, care, and sustainability. Recent and upcoming edited collections include Read More
Bridget Haina is a mother of two, a professor in the Communication Studies Department at the SUNY Plattsburgh and co-founder of American Canary. Her past scholarly focus was within examining outrage language on Facebook, which has led her to explore how we communicate and create cultures of harm vs. care in our own institutions. Read More
As an interdisciplinary cultural researcher and educator, I am committed to developing transnational, intergenerational, and decolonial feminist knowledge projects. I value body-mind/spirit integrated, learner-centered, and community-based healing, knowledge, and approaches.
Dr. Ghada Alatrash
Dr. Ghada Alatrash is an Asst. Professor and the Director of the School of Critical and Creative Studies at Alberta University of the Arts. Her current research focuses on art and creative expression as resistance to dictatorship, and in particular within the Syrian context. Read More
Dr. Patricia (Patti) Johnston
Patricia Johnston is a White settler from Western Canada residing on Treaty 6 territory (Edmonton); the homeland of Metis and many First Nations. She has worked in Arctic Canada with Inuit women, children and families for almost two decades. Read More
Dr. Ronna Mosher
Ronna Mosher is an Assistant Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Her current research focuses on children’s play and literacies education and on the curricular possibilities of relational reading.
sheliza ladhani. other-mother. PhD candidate.
grounded in anti-racism and decolonial approaches, sheliza’s scholarship moves across multiple temporalities and porous worlds of haunting and abundance, as one way of thinking-feeling-being in relation with memory, affect, and multisensory stories. Read More
Zoya Hayes, Daughter
Zoya Hayes, is a current undergraduate student at SUNY Plattsburgh studying Psychology and Gender and Women’s Studies. She desires to combine the biological with the methodical to encompass the diversity within our lives and relationships. Read More
Gabrielle Lindstrom, PhD
Dr. Gabrielle E. Lindstrom, Tsa’piinak,i is a member of the Kainai Nation, Blackfoot Confederacy. An Assistant Professor in Indigenous Studies with Mount Royal University, her teaching background includes instructing on topics around First Nation, Métis, and Inuit history and current issues, Indigenous Studies (Canadian and International perspectives), Indigenous cross-cultural approaches, and Indigenous research methods and ethics. Read More
Maria do Mar Pereira
Maria do Mar Pereira is a feminist ethnographer, interested in epistemology and committed to socially engaged research and teaching. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Warwick and a Co-Director of Warwick’s Centre for the Study of Women and Gender. She tries (not always successfully) to juggle this work with sanity, mothering and involvement in feminist activism.
stephanie tyler. motherscholar. phd candidate.
through the sacred pathways of nehiyawewin (the Cree language), ceremony and song, teachings, relations in the natural world, and mothering, stephanie’s scholarship creatively weaves together and preserves individual and collective stories of decolonizing, healing, and becoming. Read More
We are trying to reimagine teaching and learning by working to change the perception of mothering in the classroom.