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Studies in the Maternal is an international, peer-reviewed, scholarly online journal. It aims to provide a forum for contemporary critical debates on the maternal understood 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.

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.
Submission Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  2. Any third-party-owned materials used have been identified with appropriate credit lines, and permission obtained from the copyright holder for all formats of the journal.
  3. The submission file is in OpenOffice, Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect document file format.
  4. All DOIs for the references have been provided, when available.
  5. Tables and figures are all cited in the text. Tables are included within the text document, whilst figure files are uploaded as supplementary files.
  6. Figures/images have a resolution of at least 150dpi (300dpi or above preferred). Each file is no more than 20MB per file. The files are in one of the following formats: JPG, TIFF, GIF, PNG, EPS (to maximise quality, the original source file is preferred).
  7. The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.
  8. If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  9. Please ensure that your article includes a competing interest statement in accordance with our Competing Interest Guidelines.
Copyright Notice Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  • Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously 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.
  • Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  • Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
Peer Review

All articles submitted to Studies in the Maternal are initially assessed by an Editor, who decides whether or not the article is suitable for peer review. Submissions considered suitable for peer review are assigned to two or more independent experts, who assess the article for clarity, validity, and sound methodology.

Studies in the Maternal operates a double-blind peer review process, meaning that authors and reviewers remain anonymous for the review process. The review period is expected to take around six weeks. Reviewers are asked to provide formative feedback, even if an article is not deemed suitable for publication in the journal.


Studies in the Maternal allows the following licences for submission:

  • CC BY 4.0 - More Information  
    Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
Publication Fees

This journal is published by the Open Library of Humanities. Unlike many open-access publishers, the Open Library of Humanities does not charge any author fees. This does not mean that we do not have costs. Instead, our costs are paid by an international library consortium.

If your institution is not currently supporting the platform, we request that you ask your librarian to sign up. The OLH is extremely cost effective and is a not-for-profit charity. However, while we cannot function without financial support and we encourage universities to sign up, institutional commitment is not required to publish with us.

Publication Cycle 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

Public Submissions

Peer Reviewed


Anniversary Collection - Intern Contributions

Anniversary Collection - Papers

Anniversary Collection - Position Pieces

Anniversary Collection - Creative Works and Artworks

Queer Milk Special Cluster

Round Table

Visual Art

Interactive Media

Multimedia Work

Position Piece


AHRC-funded 'Motherhood in Post-1968 European Literature Network' Workshop Papers

Seduction into Life: Co-responding with Bracha L. Ettinger

Book and Exhibition Reviews

(M)Other Re-spect

Maternal Writing

Theorising the Maternal


Visual Work

The Maternal in the work of Chantal Akerman

Creative Writing

In Conversation

Visual Work: Maternal Subjectivities, Care and Labour

Maternal Encounters, Maternal Affect

Troubling Mothers

Visual Essay and Work in Progress


Table of Contents