I am a lecturer in Sociology at Lancaster University, co-Director for the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, and a mum to two children (Louis 16, and Bella 9). When I became pregnant with Louis in the first month of a philosophy PhD in 1994, I began to write ‘secretly’ about pregnancy and motherhood, specifically about the striking absence of pregnancy and motherhood within the classic philosophical and psychoanalytic accounts of subjectivity I was reading for my thesis. Inspired by the early writing of Luce Irigaray, this work resulted in my first published essay, ‘Reframing Pregnant Embodiment’ (2000). Over the subsequent years, I have returned repeatedly to questions of maternal identities and subjectivties, researching and writing about birth, pregnancy and motherhood from a series of different theoretical, disciplinary and political perspectives.
My current research on motherhod focuses mainly on three related areas: media/aesthetics, inequalities, and political/ activist motherhoods. I am particularly interested in thinking about the maternal as a site of resistance to neoliberal capitalism- something which I approach in different ways in two recent essays ‘Pregnant Beauty’ and ‘Naked Protest’ and in my forthcoming book Revolting Subjects. With Dr Lisa Baraitser (Birkbeck) I have also been developing work on the theme of`Maternal Publics and Counterpublics’. With Tracey Jensen, I am currently editing a special issue of Studies in the Maternal on `Austerity Parenting`. My current work on motherhood is inspired by Silvia Federici’s brilliant writing on ‘primitive accumulation’ and ‘the feminist commons’.
Motherhood Research ProjecTS:
2009- 2012 European-funded research project on Childbirth Organisations in the UK (with Dr Celia Roberts and Dr Candice Satchwell) .
2008-ongoing Editorial board of Studies in the Maternal and the MaMSIE (Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics) international research network.
2004-7 co-directed (with Dr Caroline Gatrell) a research project entitled Hard Labour: The Cultural Politics of Reproduction for which we organised a workshop on Maternal Bodies (2005) and an international conference, Birth (2007). [see e special issue of Feminist Review on `Birth’ (2009)].
Publications relating to motherhood:
Tyler, I. (2013) Revolting Subjects (Zed books)
Tyler, I. (2013) ‘”Naked Protest”: The Maternal Politics of Citizenship and Revolt’. Citizenship Studies.
Tyler, I. (2012) `Pramfaced Girls: the class politics of “Maternal TV”` in Beverly Skeggs and Helen Woods (eds.) Class and Reality TV , London: BFI
Tyler, I. (2011) `Pregnant Beauty: Maternal Femininities under Neoliberalism’ in Rosalind Gill and Christina Scharff (eds.) New Femininities: Postfeminism, Neoliberalism and Identity. Palgrave.21-46.
Tyler, I and L. Baraitser, (2010) ‘Talking of Mothers’ Soundings 44, Spring:117-127.
Tyler, I. and C.Gatrell eds. (2009) ‘Birth’ special issue of Feminist Review, 93.
T yler, I. (2009) ‘On Birth: An Introduction’ Feminist Review 93:1-7.
Tyler, I. (2009) `The Taboo Aesthetics of the Birth Scene’ Feminist Review 93: 134-137
Tyler, I. (2009) ‘Against Abjection’ Feminist Theory 10 (1): 77-98.
Tyler, I. (2009) ‘Why the Maternal Now?’ Studies in the Maternal 1(1). [online]
Tyler, I. (2008) ‘”Chav Mum, Chav Scum”: Class Disgust in Contemporary Britain’ Feminist Media Studies 8 (1): 17-34.
Tyler, I. (2001) ‘Skin-tight: Celebrity, Pregnancy and Subjectivity’ in Sara Ahmed and Jackie Stacey (eds).Thinking Through the Skin, Routledge: London and New York, 69-83.
Tyler, I. (2000) ‘Reframing Pregnant Embodiment’ in Sara Ahmed, Celia Lury, Jane Kilby, Maureen McNeil, Beverly Skeggs (eds). Transformations: Thinking Through Feminism Routledge: London and New York, 288-301.
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Dr Imogen Tyler
Senior Lecturer in Sociology
Co-Director of the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies
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