This collection, drawn from twelve years of the influential journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality, offers a groundbreaking advance in thinking and theorizing about what happens to women when they become mothers. It explores how women are changed and shaped by interaction with their children and the cultural constructs about motherhood in which they are embedded. Distinguished psychoanalysts, philosophers, feminists, gender and cultural theorists explore the meeting place of cultural representations of motherhood, maternal theory, and mothers interacting in the clinical setting and with their children, to illuminate how the process of becoming a mother creates and informs female subjectivity, identity, desire, expression, aggression, ambition, shame, envy, and relationships. Contributors find mothers to be complex subjects negotiating rich hybrid identities that explode received notions of maternal and even female subjectivity in their complexity. They create an exciting and very accessible new set of ideas and templates for thinking about mothers and women that will be of value to clinicians, academics, and mothers alike.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Studies in Gender and Sexuality.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Writing of Mothers Maura Sheehy Part I: Mothers in the Consulting Room 2. Giving Body to Thought: Entwinements Between Women Velleda C. Ceccoli 3. Mothers, Monsters, Mentors Adrienne Harris 4. Lost in a Fog, or "How Difficult Is This MOMMY Stuff, Anyway?" Maura Sheehy Part II: Maternal Subjectivity 5. Oi Mother, Keep Ye' Hair On! Impossible Transformations of Maternal Subjectivity Lisa Baraitser 6. What Exactly is the Transformation of Motherhood? Commentary on Lisa Baraitser's Paper Daphne de Marneffe 7. Reply to Commentaries Lisa Baraitser 8. Mum's the Word: Intersubjectivity, Alterity, and the Maternal Subject Lisa Baraitser 9. Maternal Silence Miri Rozmarin Part III: Maternality and Writing, Creativity 10. I'm in the Milk and the Milk Is in Me: Writing from the Night Kitchen Donna Bassin 11. Mother-Writing and the Narrative of Maternal Subjectivity Suzanne Juhasz Part IV: Maternal Representation in Culture 12. "It Ain't Fittin'": Cinematic and Fantasmatic Contours of Mammy in Gone with the Wind and Beyond Maria St. John 13. What About the Baby? The New Cult of Domesticity and Media Images of Pregnancy Katie Gentile 14. What About the Episiotomy? A Response to Katie Gentile's Article, "What About the Baby?" Lynne Zeavin 15. Social Trauma and Models of Ideological Analysis: Commentary on Article by Katie Gentile Lynne Layton 16. Reply to Commentaries: "What About the Baby? The New Cult of Domesticity and Media Images of Pregnancy" Katie Gentile
Maura Sheehy is a psychotherapist in private practice in the USA and a contributor to Studies in Gender and Sexuality. A former staff and freelance writer for major national publications, she has an MA in Cultural Studies and has run a weekly support group for new mothers in Brooklyn, NY, USA.