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Pickle Me This

March 3, 2010

The Association for Research on Mothering, and Me

UPDATE: Ann Douglas speaks with ARM’s Founder and Director Andrea O’Reilly.

I am only one of many people upset at the news that the Association for Research on Mothering at York University is set to close at the end of next month. (This is particularly devastating, coming on the back of more bad news for the Toronto Women’s Bookstore, which played such a big role in my discovery of feminism via the magazines I bought there that I’d never seen anywhere else, ever). Though I’ve only been a mother for nine months, and my relationship with ARM has been peripheral, I can honestly say the two books I’ve read from their Demeter Press (which is also to close) have done more to enhance my understanding of my new life than anything else.

Mother Knows Best: Talking Back to the Experts is the very best book on motherhood I’ve ever read. I’ve been a smarter, more confident, more open-minded and better parent since encountering it in November, and have been much better equipped to deal with the onslaught of other resources constantly undermining my authority. Mothering and Blogging: The Radical Act of the MommyBlog has played a fundamental role in helping me to address my ambivalence toward mommyblogging (which in some ways is an ambivalence toward motherhood in general), and got me engaging with ideas I don’t think I’ll ever be finished with.

And though these were both scholarly texts, I devoured them. And not just because they were telling me things I needed to hear at a trying time in my life, but because they taught me things I need to know, and they challenged ideas I thought I knew. These two Demeter books were incredible, and to think there will be no more of them is an enormous cultural loss for everyone.

Please read Ann Douglas’ blog on more about the ARM closure, and plans afoot to try to do something to stop it.

3 thoughts on “The Association for Research on Mothering, and Me”

  1. Nathalie Foy says:

    I am a (lapsed) member of ARM and both saddened and chagrined to read about their closing for the first time here. I’ve presented papers at a few of their conferences and am in awe of Andrea O’Reilley’s productivity as a scholar and organizer. I will add my voice to the chorus of protest and send the link to friends. Thanks for posting about this.

  2. Carissa says:

    I am not an ARM Member but I do feel, as a mother, that my voice should be heard. I do hope they will not close!

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