Rebecca Gowland

Grant Type

Conference Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Otago, U. of

Grant number

Gr. CONF-729

Approve Date

September 1, 2016

Project Title

Gowland, Dr. Rebecca Louise, Durham U., Durham, UK - To aid workshop on 'The Mother-Infant Nexus in Anthropology: Small Beginnings, Significant Outcomes,' 2017, Durham U., UK, in collaboration with Dr. Sian Halcrow

Preliminary abstract: This workshop will bring together world-leading, international scholars with the aim of developing new theoretical perspectives for studying the mother-infant nexus in anthropology. The themes covered will explore biocultural understandings and embodied practices relating to maternal, fetal and infant bodies and the significance for early life development and overall population well-being. This is particularly topical because there is a burgeoning awareness within anthropology of the centrality of mother-infant interactions for understanding the evolution of our species, infant and maternal health and care strategies, epigenetic change, and biological and social development. Over the past few decades the anthropology and archaeology of childhood has developed apace; however, infancy, the pregnant body and motherhood continue to be marginalised. The aim of this workshop is to develop new theoretical directions within anthropology and set future research agendas focused on the unique mother-infant relationship and its broader societal implications. We will achieve this aim through two inter-related objectives: 1) Our targeted invitation of participants who are leaders in different sub-disciplines of anthropology and beyond, whose research is breaking new methodological and theoretical ground in investigating mother-infant relationships and; 2) To assess a series of inter-related research topics/themes through multiple anthropological approaches in order to develop a holistic biocultural understanding of the mother-infant relationship. Outputs will include an edited volume, ‘The Mother-Infant Nexus in Anthropology: Small Beginnings, Significant Outcomes’ with Springer, a collaborative Major Article for Current Anthropology, and dissemination via major forms of social media, a dedicated website, including podcasts from the workshop, and a public lecture evening hosted by Durham University.