Theorising and Representing Maternal Realities
Maternal research is a rapidly expanding, multi-disciplinary form of scholarship. Prior to second wave feminism most motherhood literature was written from a male perspective. This literature focused on telling mothers how to practice mothering without acknowledging the expertise of the mothers themselves. Research on motherhood as it is experienced in all its facets by mothers has only emerged in recent decades. This book is aimed at expanding academic knowledge of motherhood, from a feminist perspective, looking particularly at how maternal subjectivities can be represented and theorised. When mothers themselves (academic or not) are responsible for theorisation and representation of maternal ‘realities’, dominant theories and representations of motherhood are radically challenged. In Theorising and Representing Maternal Realities the contributors argue that it is no longer acceptable to regard mothers as mere objects of knowledge and research. They are primarily the subjects of knowledge and research.
Marie Porter is an Honorary Research Adviser in the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics at the University of Queensland. She is an editor of the book Motherhood: Power and Oppression, Porter, M., Short, P., and O'Reilly, A. (Eds), published by Women’s Press, Toronto (2005). She is President of the Australian Association for Research on Mothering (ARM-A) formed in 2005 to encourage the academic study, and recognition, of mothering. Her doctoral thesis, Transformative Power in Motherwork: A Study of Mothering in the 1950s and 1960s, is soon to be published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Julie Kelso is an Honorary Research Adviser in the School of English, Media Studies and Art History. She has published in the areas of feminist biblical studies, feminist philosophy and mothering and literature. Her recent book, O Mother Where Art Thou?: an Irigarayan reading of the Book of Chronicles (London: Equinox, 2008), explores the relationship between the maternal body and silence in the Hebrew Book of Chronicles. She is the Managing Editor of the e-journal The Bible and Critical Theory.
“This timely book is conceived with a clear desire to make visible the hidden and often challenging ‘real’ experiences of aspects of women’s everyday lives as mothers….. “The book is a compassionate and scholarly work which reveals and theorizes maternal realities in contexts which many women will recognise”. This fascinating and thought-provoking book makes an important contribution to the study of maternal lives and is a must read for a wide range of academic, professional and practitioner audiences.”
Dr. Tina Miller, Reader in Sociology, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford. UK
Author of ‘Making Sense of Motherhood: A Narrative Approach’ (2005) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
“Over the last three decades a central, if not defining, aim of motherhood studies has been to articulate and theorize “the voice of the mother”: to analyze becoming and being a mother from the perspective and subjectivity of mothers themselves. However, before we can speak authentically as mothers we must first do the difficult but necessary work of unmasking motherhood. Indeed, as Susan Maushart wrote: “Unmasking motherhood is a greater challenge to the feminist imagination than all the other “women’s issues” put together” In its penetrating and far reaching exploration of many and diverse maternal realities, this collection quite literally breaks ground; unearthing and excavating the truths of motherhood that for too long have been buried beneath the mask of motherhood.”
- Andrea O’Reilly, Founder/Director Association for Research on Motherhood
Dr. Sharon Abbey
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