Focus and Scope

Studies in the Maternal is an international, peer-reviewed, scholarly online journal. It aims to provide a forum for contemporary critical debates about motherhood, and the maternal, understood broadly as lived experience, social location, political and scientific practice, economic and ethical challenge, a theoretical question, and a structural dimension in human relations, politics and ethics.

Studies in the Maternal provides an interdisciplinary space to extend and develop maternal scholarship, making visible the many diverse strands of work on motherhood, parenting, reproduction, pregnancy & birth, and childcare across a broad range of disciplinary and practice boundaries. In doing so, it aims to foster dialogue and encourage the exploration of the unique site the maternal occupies at the potent intersection between scientific possibilities, psychosocial practices and cultural representations.

We publish articles, essays and reviews by academics, writers, artists and clinical and cultural practitioners who engage with the maternal from diverse perspectives. We also welcome work that falls outside of the textual tradition, incorporating or encompassing the visual and/or audio.

We are especially interested in work in the areas of:

  • maternal experience, maternal identities, and maternal subjectivities;
  • maternal and pregnant embodiment and affectivity;
  • racial, ethnic, national and transnational geneologies of maternity;
  • motherhood and feminist theory;
  • the cultural politics of reproduction, natality and birth, including the impact, meanings, histories and possibilities that arise from new reproductive technologies;
  • the political possibilities that arise from understandings of the maternal in the context of global/local, neoliberal, late-capitalist conditions;
  • maternal desires, sexualities and genders, queer and trans maternal subjectivities, new forms of kinship and trans-familial practices;
  • fatherhood and the paternal;
  • maternal ambivalence;
  • maternal aesthetics and representations of the maternal in literature, performance, digital and visual culture;
  • cultural representations of 'good' and 'bad’ mothering;
  • maternal ethics and its relation to the ethics of care.

Publication Frequency

The journal is published twice yearly. The Autumn issue is an Open Issue which may include contributions pertaining to any topic, and the Spring Issue is a Special Issue organised around a specific theme. Those wishing to submit contributions for consideration for the Open Issue, or ideas for a themed Special Issue should send their work or enquires to the editors, Lisa Baraitser and Sigal Spigel, at mamsie@bbk.ac.uk.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Authors of published articles remain the copyright holders and grant third parties the right to use, reproduce, and share the article according to a Creative Commons license agreement. 

One of the benefits of open access publishing lies in others being able to re-use material. We believe that the greatest societal good is possible when people are free to re-distribute scholarship and to create derivative works. This is why we use the CC BY 4.0 license, under which others may re-use your work, on condition that they cite you.  

If a more restrictive licence is required (for example, if you are reproducing third party material that cannot be reproduced under more open licences)please make this request upon submission in the ‘Comment to the Editor’ field or email your editor directly, stating the reasons why.  

Archiving Policy

The journal’s publisher, Open Library of Humanities, focuses on making content discoverable and accessible through indexing services. Content is also archived around the world to ensure long-term availability.

Open Library of Humanities journals are indexed by the following services:

In addition, all journals are available for harvesting via OAI-PMH.

To ensure permanency of all publications, this journal also utilises CLOCKSS, and LOCKSS archiving systems to create permanent archives for the purposes of preservation and restoration.

If the journal is not indexed by your preferred service, please let us know by emailing support@openlibhums.org or alternatively by making an indexing request directly with the service.


Mamsie joined the Open Library of Humanities and became Open Access in 2016. Articles published before this date have been made freely available, but all archive material is All Rights Reserved. All published content since 2016 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this journal.