“Whew” or “That Was Fun – Now What?”

M. Joy Rose

M. Joy Rose

As many of you know, I spent the last year living in a daycare in NYC while I completed my Master’s degree in Mother Studies. This was a year of challenge, excitement, difficulty, and break-throughs. The challenges are inherent in graduate school, especially a place like CUNY, The Graduate Center, which demands the best of the 118 students that graduated with a master’s in 2015.

Excitement however was never far behind both personally and professionally. Personally speaking, I learned a TON. I went from zero to sixty in a semester and a half of full-time, non-stop, round the clock learning. That was thrilling.

On Wednesday, May 27, the Graduate Center conferred 466 doctoral and 118 master’sdegrees, as well as honored Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Lydia Davis, …Link

Thrilling was my son, Ali Marpet’s NFL draft pick last month in the second round to Tampa Bay. Watching Ali work as hard as he did, and find such a fabulous spot in the world to be an athlete, son, brother, and human being is a blessing to us all. His other sibs are also doing great, and for a mother there is no greater happiness.

Difficulties throughout the year were to be expected. They included: sleepless nights, stressful papers, physical aches, and missing my long-distance partner. But, I made great friends at the Graduate Center and together we buoyed each other up to make it through. It looks like I’ll be staying close by New York City, and my new and old friends for the foreseeable future.

It looks to be a busy summer (and fall) both for me personally, and for the Museum of Motherhood. Here are a few things on the agenda:

  • I’ll be a team leader for the Feminist Scholars Digital Workshop at HASTAC June 8-14th
  • Call for Papers; “The Music of Motherhood,” Demeter Press. Submissions through June 30th.
  • I’ll be teaching Mother Studies Summer Intensive online June 15- July 27
  • This month we launched M.A.M.A.: an international exchange of art and words through the Museum of Motherhood and the ProCreate Project.
  • In August I start an adjunct position locally in New York teaching Families and Social Change: Sociology, Motherhood, and the Family. Pretty stoked about this, and looking for two more opportunities if you hear of anything.
  • September will launch The Journal of Mother Studies (JourMS) CFP. We are currently seeking editorial board members. Write me if you’re interested. JourMS@gmail.com
  • September “Words of Love” exhibit as part of Motherhood Archetypes in Contemporary Jewish Art was accepted to partake in the 2015 Biennale of Contemporary Jewish Art in Jerusalem at Hechal Shlomo.
  • Additionally, I’ve been happy to participate in the Project AfterBirth juried selection, and pleased to act as an informal consultant to the film Mom is a Dirty Word, which is hosting a fundraiser online if you’d care to contribute.

Breakthroughs: In conclusion, I need to address the “breakthroughs” to which I alluded. Mother Studies is a new and emerging field in the academy. While much has been done to move the conversation forward, much still needs to be accomplished in terms of legitimizing degreed programs within institutions of higher learning. To this end, I hope my Master’s will serve as a pioneering first in terms of encouraging others to request, demand, and insist on Mother Studies as a certified course of action.

Thank YOU all – My friends, collaborators, teachers, mentors, and family. I am looking forward to the next great adventure. Meanwhile: peace, music, and more #SummerOfLoveTour #JoinMama


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