CfP: Women and Water: The Flow of Matriculture

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Deadline for abstract submission: 15 June 2023

The relationship of women with water is deep, flowing among and between cultures as disparate as the Anishnaabeg of eastern Canada, the Celtic people of Europe, the Haenyeo of South Korea, and the Ashanti of western Africa. This issue of Matrix seeks to explore that relationship. We are looking for articles which, among other things, describe women’s ritual behaviour in relation to water, the ways in which water affects women’s lives and experiences, the cultural stories and views which inform their relationship.

Today, there is a heightened knowledge of the preciousness of water to human life. Is the special relationship to water some cultures attribute to women connected to our wombs as the matrix of life, particularly to menstruation and the uterine liquids in which embryos swim? Or are there other reasons buried deep in myth and storytelling which explicate a special ritual relationship? What are women’s ritual responses, for example, to water pollution? What is the role of the moon when considering women and water? We are interested in exploring the cultural roots and contemporary shapes of the importance of water to women’s lives and we encourage research about women’s rites of passage using water, water-based rituals or ceremonies, water festivals, and seasonal honourings, showing how they are centered in women’s identities and cultural roles, within their creation stories, and their life teachings.

We also encourage creative artworks (any media) and community contributions which focus on the relationship between women and water, women and the moon, and/or women, water, and the moon. Personal essays or reflections on the theme are also welcome.

Possibilities for papers include yet are not limited to the following. Don’t be constrained by our imaginations!

  • Myths and stories about women and water
  • Rituals and ceremonies concerning water done by women
  • Culturally-affirming relationship between oceans, seas, rivers, ponds, or other natural bodies of water and women
  • Special relationships associating the moon, water, and women
  • Economic consequences of women’s associations with water
  • Historical instances of women’s preeminent relationship with water

Issue Editors: Editorial Collective of Matrix

Please submit a 250-word abstract (max) to the Editorial Collective of Matrix: A Journal for Matricultural Studies.

Submission via email to: Linnéa Rowlatt, Managing Editor, at lrowlatt@networkonculture.ca or to the Editorial Collective at info@networkonculture.ca (subject line: Matrix Vol 4, Issue 1)

About Matrix

Matrix: A Journal for Matricultural Studies (Matrix) is an open-access, peer-reviewed and refereed scholarly journal published by the International Network for Training, Education, and Research on Culture (Network on Culture), Canada. Matrix is published online twice yearly (Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer). Matrix is a new journal in the humanities and social sciences, founded to provide an interdisciplinary forum for those who are working from the theoretical stance of matriculture as a Geertzian cultural system.

Matriculture refers to the cultural system that brings together all cultural aspects informing the lives of mothers, usually women, of a given society, and by extension, the lives of women. Talking about matricultural systems allows us to consider as primary the cultural context of a given society as perceived, constructed, and lived by its women. Similar to other cultural systems such as art, religion, or mathematics, employing the heuristic of matriculture allows for, among other things: cross-cultural comparisons; fresh insights into the social roles of women, men, otherwise identified, children, and the entire community of humans, animals, and the environment; and/or renewed understandings of historically mis-labelled cultures. With Guédon’s work in mind, then, and based on Geertzian principles, the concept of matriculture is both a model of reality by rendering the structure of matricultures apprehensible and a model for reality, where psychological relationships are organized under its guidance. We encourage submissions from scholars around the world who are ready to take a new look at the ways in which people – historically and currently – have organized meaningful relationships amongst themselves and with the natural environment, the myths, customs, and laws which support these relationships, and the ways in which researchers have documented and perhaps mis-labeled the matricultures they have encountered.