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Brisbane! Come and watch the discussion, take part, and say hello to me. We will be talking politics and art.. just two of my very favourite topics.

Who: Senator Sue Boyce (Liberal Party Senator), Colleen Wall (senior Kabi Kabi Woman and cultural practitioner), Celia White (Artistic Director, Vulcana Women’s Circus) and a former Deputy Director-General of Arts Queensland.

Where: Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington Street, New Farm.

When: 2pm, Sunday 15 June 2014.

Cost: Free!

 

 

My column is here:

What becomes apparent from all of these clothing determinations is that a girl’s body can’t just be. Rather, it is to be viewed and interpreted by us and sanctioned accordingly. Yet another recent news item reported a female student being sent home from school, after first being lectured in front of her class, for wearing shorts. As her mother subsequently pointed out – the denim shorts were neither torn nor worn low on her waist. There was nothing particularly suggestive about them and you can’t help think similar shorts worn by a boy student would likely be seen as quite sexless. But those bare female legs, even on a hot summer day, can be judged misbehavior.

More for my collection of photos here of women doing life while also breastfeeding. Love this one. (Thanks Laura for the link).

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Of course the photo caused a stir in some places, of course.

For real..

This article, “On the march” by John Safran for The Sydney Morning Herald is one of the most intriguing things to have ever been written about racism and anti-racism in Australia.

Such a thing exists. You must listen…

We’ve seen a lot of oddities reissued over the last few years, but few come close to capturing the bewildering brilliance of this bizarre instructional Birthing album recorded somewhere in Alaska in 1982 and resurfacing now on a first-ever vinyl pressing thanks to the supreme Ethnomusicological skills of Andy Votel and his Dead-Cert imprint. Utilising the ARP 2600, ARP Odyssey, Polymoog, harmonica/synthesiser interface, Eventide Omnipressor, Roland vocoder and genuinely bizarre narration imploring the listener to “push…” over a background of retro-futuristic space-age progressions, these recordings edge the concept of extreme American outsider music to its furthest reaches.

Similarly, I entered motherhood the same year I completed an Honors B.A. in English and Women’s Studies. When I became a mother unexpectedly at the age of 23, in the final year of my degree, I reflected back on the courses I’d taken and realized I’d never had a single course in which motherhood was discussed in a thorough way—and this was in coursework leading to a degree in Women’s Studies. The few times motherhood was considered, the frame of reference was presented as either the “prison of domesticity” theme of late-nineteenth century literature or the “motherhood-as-patriarchal-trap” paradigm of early 1970s feminist thought. With the notable exception of a Canadian Women’s Writers course, none of my undergraduate courses included a maternal perspective on the women’s issues studied, nor did professors call attention to the absence of motherhood or position it as a worthy and deserving topic for feminist scholarly inquiry.

Two years later, I began my Ph.D. in English, giving birth to my second child four months later in December 1986, and my third child three years after that. At 28 years old, with three children born in five years, and the only mother in my Ph.D. program, I hungered for stories and theories by and about mothers and wondered, as did Di Brandt, “Where … were the mothers, symbolic or otherwise, whom I might have turned to in that moment of aloneness and desperation?” In 1991, I designed a third-year Women’s Studies course on motherhood to address and correct the silencing and marginalization of motherhood in academe; it was the first course on this topic in Canada. At that point, York University did not offer a single course on the subject of motherhood, despite hosting two large and successful Women’s Studies programs and a student population of 40,000.

I have taught this course now for over 20 years, and while it certainly has been important for the development of motherhood scholarship and my own survival as a mother scholar, I needed and longed for more. I still longed for a community to sustain and support the work I was doing, a place where I did not have to defend or justify my motherhood scholarship or my identity as a mother academic. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, and so MIRCI and Demeter Press were born.

The amazing Professor Andrea O’Reilly interviewed in Literary Mama.

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