Jan. 9, 2009
Dr. Andrea O’Reilly, a scholar internationally renowned for her research on mothering, will challenge traditional expectations of what it means to be a good mother when she gives a lecture at Morningside College at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, in the UPS Auditorium of Lincoln Center, 3627 Peters Ave. A book signing will follow the lecture.
O’Reilly also will be on campus on Wednesday, Feb. 4, to conduct a workshop and to discuss her writing at a brown-bag lunch meeting. All of these events are free and open to the public.
An associate professor in the School of Women’s Studies at York University in Toronto, Ontario, O’Reilly’s research challenges the traditional concepts of the mothering role. She says motherhood hasn’t always been done intensively and in isolation, and she says this approach isn’t best for the mother or the child.
O’Reilly is founder and director of the first feminist research association on mothering, which has 550-plus members from more than two dozen countries. She is also founder and editor-in-chief of the first scholarly journal on motherhood, which is distributed worldwide, and founder of the only press that exclusively publishes research on motherhood.
She is the author of two books on motherhood, including “Rocking the Cradle: Thoughts On Motherhood, Feminism and the Possibility of Empowered Mothering.” She is also editor or co-editor of 12 books on mothering, including “Redefining Motherhood: Changing Identities and Patterns,” “Mother Outlaws: Theories and Practices of Empowered Mothering,” and “Feminist Mothering.”
O’Reilly will talk about her work as a writer during a brown-bag lunch meeting at noon Feb. 4 in the Roadman Formal Lounge, 3600 Peters Ave. She will read from one of her books and talk about how she uses interviews and her own experiences to include personal stories about mothering in her academic writing. There also will be time to talk with her about her lecture the previous night.
Then between 3 and 5 p.m. on Feb. 4, O’Reilly will conduct a workshop in the Yockey Family Community Room in the Olsen Student Center, 3609 Peters Ave. The workshop will explore how interviewing can be used as a strategy to enhance understanding of the human experience. A highlight of this participatory workshop will be interviewing student mothers from Morningside, Western Iowa Tech Community College and Briar Cliff University. Any interested members of the Siouxland community are invited to attend this free workshop. To register, contact Marcie Ponder at email@example.com.
O’Reilly will be the fourth speaker at Morningside College as part of the Dr. R. Franklin Terry Women’s Studies Lecture and Faculty Development Series, an effort to bring a leading women’s studies scholar to campus every semester for three years.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Andrea O’Reilly as our fourth Terry women’s studies speaker,” said Dr. Marty Knepper, professor and chair of English at Morningside and coordinator of the Dr. R. Franklin Terry Women’s Studies Lecture and Faculty Development Series. “She has done amazing work to research mothers’ actual experiences in our culture to separate myths from reality.”
The women’s studies series is named for Dr. R. Franklin Terry, who joined the Morningside faculty in 1967 and served the college for 25 years. As a professor of religious studies and later as academic dean, Terry championed the liberal arts and social justice. For these qualities and his significant support of feminism on campus and in the community, Morningside honors Terry with this women’s studies series.
O’Reilly’s visit is sponsored by Terry’s family and the following Morningside groups: the academic affairs office, the Academic and Cultural Arts Series (ACAS), the Friday is Writing Day series and the psychology department. The series is planned in partnership with Briar Cliff and Western Iowa Tech.
More information about O’Reilly is available by going online to www.yorku.ca/arm/andreaoreilly.html.