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Pragya Agarwal: The (M)Otherhood Myth



Event Status

British-Indian behavioural scientist Pragya Agarwal explores the historical, social and scientific factors that shape our perception of motherhood and who is seen to qualify as a mother. 


Why are women still defined by their choice to have, or not to have, children?

Pre-eminent behaviour and data scientist Dr Pragya Agarwal’s work examining the phenomenon of gender bias in science has seen her publish four books including M(Otherhood), a look at the complex threads that shape societal understanding and expectations around mothers and motherhood, and Hysterical, an investigation into the construction of female emotion.

Appearing in Melbourne exclusively for M/OTHER, Agarwal joins journalist and writer Sophie Black for an insightful and wide-ranging conversation spanning childbirth, infertility, reproductive justice, gender and race.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.


Conversations in M/OTHER may include references to topics such as mental health, reproductive rights, and childbirth. If you need assistance with any of these issues, you can learn more and seek advice via the Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE)Perintal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) and Beyond Blue.


Auslan Interpreted

Wheelchair accessible

Accessible toilets available

Assistive Listening

FM Hearing Loop available

Please notify us of all access requirements when booking online so we can assist you with your visit. If you require further information, please contact reception on 03 9094 7800 or

About the book

The official bookseller for M/OTHER is Neighbourhood Books.


M/OTHER is a weekend of fearless conversation about the ways ‘motherhood’ is experienced, portrayed and labelled by those who mother, have been mothered, wish they were mothers, do not identify as mothers, cannot or do not want to mother, and by society at-large.




Pragya Agarwal

Dr Pragya Agarwal is a professor of social inequities, behavioural and data scientist, founder of a research think-tank investigating gender inequities, and author of four widely acclaimed non-fiction books for adults on racism, gender bias and motherhood, and a picture book for raising non-racist c... Read more

Sophie Black

Sophie Black is a writer, journalist and Crikey’s editor-in-chief. She has worked in senior management across cultural and media organisations, and has written for outlets such as The Guardian and The Monthly. As the Wheeler Centre’s head of publishing, she oversaw projects such as the Walk... Read more


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