Editor: Nané Jordan
Deadline for Abstracts: November 15, 2015
This edited anthology explores the placenta through mothers’ contemporary and traditional uses of the human “afterbirth.” We welcome your placenta stories, rituals, and research, in first‐person narrative accounts, creative non‐fiction, scholarly essays, poetry, and artwork. This anthology seeks to highlight and inspire diverse understandings of the placenta, and its role in mothers’ creative life‐giving. This includes, but is not limited to, placenta stories and ceremonial understandings, from birth cultures and communities such as home‐birth, hospital‐birth, and midwifery, indigenous, feminist, multi‐cultural and transnational birthing perspectives. We invite submissions from mothers, family members, midwives, doulas, birth‐workers, scholars, researchers, and more.
Through medicalization of childbirth, North American mothers did not have access to their babies’ placentas, nor would many have thought to. Placentas were considered to be medical property, and/or viewed as the refuse of birth. There is now greater understanding of mother‐ and baby‐ centred birth care, in which careful treatment of the placenta and cord can play an integral role. In reclaiming birth at home and in clinical settings, mothers are choosing to keep their placentas in order to honour, bury, and/or consume them. There is a revival, and survival, of family and community rituals with the placenta and the umbilical cord, including burying, consuming, art making with, and drying its form for medicinal use. Claiming and honouring the placenta may play a vital role in understanding the sacredness of birth, and the gift of life that mothers bring.
Topics may include (but are not limited to):
Birth of the placenta; placenta in birth; placentas at home; placentas in hospital; keeping the placenta; choice to keep; right to keep; placenta as refuse; throwing placenta away; placenta controversy; lost placentas; placenta ceremony and ritual; mother stories; mother wit; the afterbirth; indigenous practices and ceremony; cultural and cross‐cultural perspectives; 4th stage of labour; placenta and hemorrhage; midwifery and placentas; doulas and placentas; traditional midwifery; placenta burial; backyard placentas; placentas in the freezer; placentophagy (eating placenta); placenta encapsulation; medical uses and research; placental and umbilical stem cells; placental morphology; placental physiology; placentas and blood taboo; re‐thinking pollution; placenta and post‐partum care; post‐partum depression; baby loss and placenta; grief work; breastfeeding and placenta; placenta healing; placenta medicine; umbilical cord care; cutting the cord; not cutting the cord; lotus birth; benefits of delayed cord cutting; saving umbilical cord; amniotic sac; born in the caul; placenta art; placenta as metaphor; placenta as metaform; placentas and trees; world omphalos; placenta activism; blood mysteries; historical perspectives; sociology of; anthropology of; spiritual perspectives of; spirit of the placenta; placenta shapes; placentas with twins; placenta as twin; placenta inquiry; fathers and placentas; placenta as Grandmother; placentas and relationship to the Earth.
Abstract/Proposal of 150‐300 words and a 50‐word bio is due November 15, 2015. Acceptance notice will be given in mid‐December 2015. Completed submissions are due by May 31, 2016.
The editor is seeking to combine personal stories, reflective essays, creative work, and scholarly/research analysis in this collection.
Completed placenta narrative/story submissions must be a minimum of 5‐pages, double‐spaced, and no more then 15‐pages in length. Scholarly and research essays must be approximately 15‐pages, double‐spaced. Please indicate the intended length of your submission in the abstract. All work submitted in MLA style only please.
Send all inquires and submissions to the editor Nané Jordan at: firstname.lastname@example.org
140 Holland St. West, P.O. Box 13022 Bradford, ON, L3Z 2Y5 (tel) 905‐775‐5215