Mothering Bodies in Unloving Institutions

Helen Johnson, Louise Phillips, Sarah Misra, Agli Zavros-Orr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


Four mothers in academia collaboratively story their lived encounters, bringing differing identities, circumstances and experiences of collective exhaustion. They do this by creatively writing lived experiences, sharing these with each other, holding and feeling these lived encounters over time then creatively responding back with gifted crafted words and imagery. Reflection on these gifts and how they bring new insight to lived experiences create collated multi-vocal biographies. Through their collective arts-based poetic and visual inquiry they see reflections and diffractions in each other’s lived stories that metaphorically provoke understandings of the pain swept into the unforgiving corners of cold, unloving universities. This work is creative resistance: to write from the body gives pearls of pleasure and joy in unloving institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication(Re)birthing the feminine in academe
Subtitle of host publicationOpening spaces of motherhood through story, meditation and metaphor
EditorsAlison Black, Linda Henderson, Susanne Garvis
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019


  • motherhood
  • creative methods
  • poetic inquiry


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