CfP: Reimagining Parenthood

CFP: Re-imagining Parenthood: diversity, change, resistance?

*Please note we have extended our abstract deadline in light of the recent strikes as well as ongoing coronavirus concerns. Deadline is now Fri 15 May and we will review the situation once more at the end of April*

Keynotes: Paul Hodkinson, Sarah Dryden and Paula Clark

On the 6th and the 7th July 2020, we will be hosting a 2 day conference at Mansions of the Future in Lincoln (UK) on the theme of ‘Re-Imagining Parenthood’ as part of the Punk Scholar’s Network’s series of themed events.

Changes to the family have been well documented academically (Ciabattari 2017, Shehan 2017, Steel et al 2012). Over time expectations concerning parenthood have changed and it has been suggested that contemporary society now places high value on a form of parenting that is “child-centred, expert-guided, emotionally absorbing, labor-intensive, and financially expensive” (Hays 1996: 8). In what ways has parenthood changed? In what ways is parenthood now a diverse practice? What might resistance to this dominant norm of parenthood look like?  

Parenting involves multiple exchanges, some of which involve a continual consideration and renegotiation of what it is, or could be, to be a particular identity such as punk, goth or metalhead. For some, it is a struggle to find a balance between questioning authority and needing obedience for the safety or well-being of the child. For others, it is trying to figure out how to raise their child to be able to oppose problematic structural norms, unquestioned beliefs and still ensure that they are able to function in the institutions and social groups they are a part of. This can be made all the more confusing and / or complicated by significant changes that have occurred to family life.

For individuals who align themselves with counter culture and / or subculture identities and norms, parenting can be understood as a form of resistance to social norms (Holt 2008; Berkowitz 2007), especially in relation to gender expectations and heteronormative constructions of the family. In what ways do these play out in various family settings and iterations? What resources exist within counter culture and / or subcultures, such as punk or goth, that support or hinder parenting as a form of social resistance? What role could the DIY ethic play in parenting? Can the subcultural community help parents who experienced family life as isolating or alienating? How does one negotiate activism with parenting?  

We welcome papers, innovative presentations, panels, short film screenings and workshops on, but not limited to, the following:

  • Changing definitions of parenthood, the complexities involved with conceptualising parenthood, changing ideologies of motherhood and fatherhood
  • Parenthood in the context of subcultural identification (for example, goth parenting, punk parenting, eco-activist parenting)
  • Parents’ changing relationships with ‘experts’ (e.g. home-schooling)
  • Parenthood/parenting as a political act (perhaps in relation to LGBT parenting, feminism, environmental activism etc)
  • Diversity and parenthood in relation to factors such as gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class, disability and age
  • Parenting as a gendered practice
  • DIY  parenting
  • Parenthood/parenting and resistance

You can submit the abstract in any style, format or medium you want to up to 400 words or its equivalent by e-mailing the organisers listed below. The deadline for submission is 31st March 2020 by 5pm (UK time). The organisers are Francis Stewart (Bishop Grosseteste University) and Laura Way (University of Lincoln). They can be contacted at: and

This event will be free and is open to anyone who wishes to take part, either as a presenter or as an audience member.

Please note: we value all voices, experiences and personages regardless of their academic standing, educational level, gender or non-gender, ethnicity, class, (dis)abilities, or employment status. You are valued and wanted at this symposium. Nursing parents and parents returning to work are very welcome to attend and take part to whatever extent they can. We will work to support your needs and the needs of your children/family. If you would like a separate room or space for breastfeeding we can provide that, but please know that breastfeeding is welcome in the room during the sessions. Currently we are unable to provide childcare facilities, but children are welcome to attend the symposium under the supervision and responsibility of their parent(s)/carer(s).

To find out more about the Punk Scholar’s Network please visit:

For further information about Mansions of the Future go to:

Conference website:

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