How can women's political empowerment in civil society be sustained? In this lightening presentation, I overview a form of women's political participation called "political motherhood" in which women represent themselves as mothers. By emphasizing private maternal roles, there is concern that women may get sent "back to the kitchen" compared to other forms of political participation. Through case studies of Argentina's Madres of the Plaza de Mayo and Sri Lanka's Mothers' Front, I argue that two critical factors (among others) that impact women's long-term political engagement: 1) detachment from the state and 2) international support.

Author: Crystal Whetstone

Highlights and Accomplishments:

  • Beginning a tenure-track position as an assistant professor at Sam Houston State University's Department of Political Science in Fall 2020.
  • Awardee, Presidential Medal of Graduate Student Excellence for the University of Cincinnati, a prestigious honor awarded by the university president to exceptional graduate students who are graduating from their master's or doctoral program.
  • Graduating in August 2020 with field specializations in Comparative Politics and International Relations and a doctoral concentration in Feminist Comparative and International Politics.
  • Peer reviewed publication: "Recreating the Third World Project: Possibilities through the Fourth World." Third World Quarterly. 2020. 41.4: 565-582. DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2019.1702457. Co-authored with Murat Yilmaz.
  • Oxford University Press edited chapter publication: "Troubling Conceptions of Motherhood: State Feminism and Political Agency of Women in the Global South." In Troubling Motherhood: Maternity and the State, co-edited by Lucy Hall, Anna Weissman and Laura J. Shepherd, 156-178. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020. Co-authored with Anwar Mhajne.
  • Conference Presentations:
    • "Moving from Women, Peace and Security to Gender, Peace and Security and Beyond." To have been presented at the Women, Peace and Security Conference. Binghamton University. Binghamton, NY. 23-25 April 2020. [Cancelled due to COVID-19]
    • "Expanding Access to Activism: A Comparison of Argentine and Sri Lankan Mothers of the Disappeared." To have been presented at the International Studies Association 2020 Convention. Honolulu, Hawaii. 25 March 2020. [Cancelled due to COVID-19]
    • "Political Motherhood and Feminism: Collaborating across Differences in Approach to Women's Political Participation." International Feminist Journal of Politics Conference 2020. Vanderbilt University. Nashville, TN. 6 March 2020.
    • "How the Type of Maternal Frame Affects the Longevity of Social Movement Work: Authority and Emotionality in the Madres of the Plaza de Mayo and the Mothers' Front." UC Graduate Conference Reckonings. University of Cincinnati. Cincinnati, OH. 29 February 2020
    • "Who Counts as a 'Worthy' Activist in Global Civil Society?" iPoster session. The 2019 American Political Science Association Meeting. Washington, DC. 30 August 2019.