The Hilda Neatby Prize English Article
Sarah Glassford, “The Greatest Mother in the World: Carework and the Discourse of Mothering in the Canadian Red Cross Society during the First World War,” Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering 10:1 (2008).
This article offers a nuanced and multi-layered study of how a discourse of mothering came to dominate understandings of women’s carework in the Canadian Red Cross Society during the First World War. Sarah Glassford explores women’s emotional and actual labours in servicing overseas soldiers as well as the possibilities and limitations for their own empowerment and political aspirations. As a national study informed by both the multidisciplinary literature on mothering and the historical scholarship on early twentieth-century maternal feminism, the article treats motherhood as a social and fluid category. It also highlights the roles of prominent women without ignoring the less glamourized work of volunteer “sock-knitters” in local communities across the country. Glassford has made an important contribution to the study of women’s history, medical history, and citizenship and to studies of the home front during the First World War.