About Us

Purpose

AMIRCI exists to advance and advocate research, discussions, and reflections on the experience of mothering and the social construction of motherhood. AMIRCI aims to facilitate a network of scholars, researchers, writers, activists, policy makers, educators, and professionals, whose work explores mothering and motherhood.

Aims

  1. Foster connections, collaborations, and conversation among those who are interested in motherhood and feminist mothering.
  2. Promote research through scholarly and activist networks, the media, policy makers, and community workers.
  3. Provide a platform for presentation of research, writing, and reflections on mother-work, mothering, motherhood and related areas, through biennial international conferences and biannual seminars.

Membership

AMIRCI is an interdisciplinary association, locating itself within overlapping fields, including Women’s and Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Sexuality and Queer Studies, Sociology, Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Philosophy, Nursing, Social Policy, Education, Social Work, Media and Communications, Fine Arts, Theatre and Drama, Public Health, Midwifery, Creative Arts, among others. Our membership is predominately composed of scholars, but we welcome writers, artists, activists, professionals, groups, agencies, policy makers, educators, anyone interested in feminist mothering.

History

At the conclusion of the successful conference Theorizing and Representing Maternal Subjectivities held at the University of Queensland, Brisbane in October 2005, it was decided that an Association for Research on Motherhood/Mothers/Motherwork be established in Australia (ARM-A). Dr. Marie Porter, who has been researching motherhood/mothering for many years, was, and remains, the driving force behind the establishment and continuation of our organisation.

At that time, it was proposed that the association be a national one, and be used as a vehicle for future growth by obtaining funding to:

  • Conduct seminars
  • Organise conferences
  • Obtain recognition for the field as a legitimate area of academic study
  • Establish a maternal scholarship research centre.

When the association was formally established, the name, the Association for Research on Mothering-Australia (ARM-A), was chosen because the Canadian association was then the Association for Research on Mothering (ARM). This name clearly indicated our alignment with ARM at York University in Toronto, but shifted the focus to Australia and the Pacific region. In 2010, we changed the name to 'The Australian Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement' (AMIRCI), to maintain the obvious connection with the Canadian group who had needed to change their name to 'The Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement' (MIRCI). 

 

"We do not think of the power stolen from us and the power withheld from us in the name of the institution of motherhood"
Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution.
Adrienne Rich, 1976
 
 
"The term motherhood thus refers to the patriarchal institution of motherhood which is male-defined and controlled and oppressive to women, while the word “mothering” refers to women’s experiences of mothering which are female-defined and potentially empowering to women."
Andrea O'Reilly, 2011