Monday, 15 February 2016

Mothers Without Their Children

My co-editor Andrea Robertson and I are now well into our project of producing the book Mothers Without Their Children for Demeter Press.  We are currently in the process of writing our chapters and excitedly awaiting the arrival of our contributors' work.

In my office at work, writing away

The image of the mother without her child may produce a number of associations, often of maternal abjection or deprivation.  But what does investigating the idea of the mother with her children involve?  As we stated in the Call For Papers, the book will explore the subject of mothers without their children from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.  

We also thought that it was significant to: "welcome original submissions on new fields of enquiry that address the complex issues surrounding the figure of the mother without her children and her representation.  These may include cultural, literary, socio-political, relational, ethical, phenomenological, and biological perspectives and investigations. We hope to include both scholarly and creative contributions, and would also consider direct contributions from mothers who have been separated from their children."

One of the scholars who I myself have found extremely useful in thinking about the various issues and questions surrounding the mother without her children is Elaine Tuttle Hansen and her book Mother Without Child: Contemporary Fiction and the Crisis of Motherhood.  

This excellent and detailed work is a must for anyone researching the representations of maternal experience in contemporary literature and culture.

It has been exhilarating to work on a book examining a topic of such importance to me.  In the process of working on this book, I have felt so many windows opening for me, both on an academic, scholarly and personal level.

Beautiful blue February skies from my office window

Confronting some of this material has also been challenging and forced me to rethink some of my conceptions and ways of doing things.  

Once Andrea and I have provided feedback to all the contributors, we will be embarking on the next phase of the project!

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