Directed by Harriet Fertik & Anna Wainwright

The Mother’s Milk Project

Advancing conversation and connections among scholars, medical practitioners, alternative caregivers, and creative artists about the central role of breastfeeding in how societies understand and define ideals of parenthood, and the consequences of these ideals across cultures and time periods.

October 2022 Conference Materials

View and download the program/schedule and posters for the conference below

October 2022 Conference Videos

Opening Remarks (Zoom Recording)
Keynote Talk: “Wet Nurse For Sale or Hire”
Artist Conversation and Reception
Milky Mothers: Pure and Impure (Zoom Recording)
Nursing As Private, Nursing As Public
(Zoom Recording)
Roundtable: Breastfeeding and Lactation Scholarship Across Disciplines (Zoom Recording)

PROJECT Organizers

Harriet Fertik

Assistant Professor, Department of Classics, The Ohio State University

Harriet Fertik (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics and an affiliate of the Department of Comparative Studies and the Melton Center for Jewish Studies at The Ohio State University. She works on ancient political thought and classical reception studies, especially Black Classicisms. She is the author of The Ruler’s House: Contesting Power and Privacy in Julio-Claudian Rome (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019) and co-editor of Above the Veil: Revisiting the Classicism of W. E. B. Du Bois, a special issue of the International Journal of the Classical Tradition (2019). Her recent and forthcoming articles focus on women and enslaved nurses in Tacitus’ Dialogue on Orators (Polis 2020), on “women’s work” and political participation in the writings of Aristotle, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Anna Julia Cooper (The Routledge Handbook of Women and Ancient Greek Philosophy, 2024), and on antiquity, tradition, and anti-Blackness in Hannah Arendt’s political thought (Transactions of the American Philological Association 2024). She is one of the founding members of Eos (, a society dedicated to Africana receptions of ancient Greece and Rome, and serves on its executive committee.

Anna Wainwright

Assistant Professor, Classics, Humanities and Italian Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, University of New Hampshire

Anna Wainwright (she/her/hers) is Assistant Professor of Italian Studies and Core Faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of New Hampshire. She studies and teaches on motherhood, gender, race, and identity in medieval and early modern Italy, as well as in the contemporary United States. Her first monograph, “Widow City: Gender, Emotion, and Community in the Italian Renaissance,” will be published by University of Delaware Press in 2024, and she is the co-editor of the volumes Teaching Race in the European Renaissance: A Classroom Guide (ACMRS 2023), The Legacy of Birgitta of Sweden: Women, Politics and Reform in Renaissance Italy (Brill 2023), and Innovation in the Italian Counter-Reformation (Delaware, 2020). She has held awards and grants from the American Foundation of Savoy Orders, the Renaissance Society of America, and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and is a delegate to the MLA Assembly and chair of the Bibliography Committee for the Dante Society of America. She received her Ph.D. from New York University.