Collective residencies / Negotiating Non-Motherhood / Olot


From Monday, 14 March 2022 to Monday, 21 March 2022



Mercedes Carbayo Abengózar is a Lecturer in Spanish at Maynooth University, Ireland, since 2015. Previously she was a Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent (NTU), UK from 1992 to 1998. Her research interests have always been the representation on gender in Spanish popular culture. During the last five years the last five years, she has particularly focused on representations of non-normative motherhood in popular culture. Se has published on writers as Carmen Martín Gaite, singers like Concha Piquer and painters like Frida Kahlo.


Exploring childless women under the Franco’s regime through the eyes of Usos amorosos de la posguerra Española of Camen Martín Gaite.

I am aiming to explore the concepts/perceptions surrounding non-married, childless women (“solteronas”) versus married childless women who had children and lost them, as it happened to the author herself. What kind of status they hold in a society where women were defined in terms of their capacity to marry and mother their children? By exploring Usos amorosos, I aim to discuss how Spanish society is still today very influenced by the forty years lived under a very strong dictatorship obsessed with women and its only function in life, that of mothers.

The Project

The MotheNet Project offers deeper analysis and understanding of motherhood involving interdisciplinary approaches from humanities, social sciences, and medicine. The project tries to answer some crucial questions, in particular “What does it mean to be a mother in Europe today? The lived experience of motherhood has changed dramatically over the past generation, and this research explores how discourses and ideologies of motherhood reflect these changes. The research aims to shed light on the experiences of mothers who are marginalized, on maternal voices that have been silenced and the pressures on women to conform to normative ideas of motherhood. It is a European project involving 3 universities, Maynooth (Ireland), Upsala (Sweden) and Vilnius (Lithuania).

The stay in Olot was a great opportunity for the working group exploring “Negotiating Childness” to work on the proposed and accepted monograph on the issue. We had writing morning sessions and afternoon meetings to shape and discuss the different chapters that we have proposed. The volume called Negotiating Non-Motherhood: Representations, Perceptions, and Experiences and it is expected to be published next year.

Wonderful Stay at FaberLlull Residency in Olot

Four of the “Negotiating Childness” group researchers spent wonderful 5 days in Olot during which we wrote in the mornings and have very productive online meetings with the rest of the group in the afternoon. It has been a wonderful opportunity for us to dedicate 3 full days entirely to research (the other 2 were partly used for travelling). Olot is a great place, and the Residency is just perfect. The people, the facilities, the food, the location, the human warmth, just great. Thank you so very much!!!!!!

Notícies, articles i activitats

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