Motherhood in Literature and Culture: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Europe.

Adalgisa Giorgio (Editor), Gill Rye (Editor), Victoria Browne (Editor), Emily Jeremiah (Editor), Abigail Lee Six (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Motherhood remains a complex and contested issue in feminist research
as well as public discussion. This interdisciplinary volume explores cultural
representations of motherhood in various contemporary European
contexts, including France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and the UK,
and it considers how such representations affect the ways in which different
individuals and groups negotiate motherhood as both institution
and lived experience. It has a particular focus on literature, but it also
includes essays that examine representations of motherhood in philosophy,
art, social policy, and film. The book’s driving contention is that,
through intersecting with other fields and disciplines, literature and the
study of literature have an important role to play in nuancing dialogues
around motherhood, by offering challenging insights and imaginative
responses to complex problems and experiences. This is demonstrated
throughout the volume, which covers a range of topics including: discursive
and visual depictions of pregnancy and birth; the impact of
new reproductive technologies on changing family configurations; the
relationship between mothering and citizenship; the shaping of policy
imperatives regarding mothering and disability; and the difficult realities
of miscarriage, child death, violence, and infanticide. The collection
expands and complicates hegemonic notions of motherhood, as the authors
map and analyse shifting conceptions of maternal subjectivity and
embodiment, explore some of the constraining and/or enabling contexts
in which mothering takes place, and ask searching questions about what
it means to be a ‘mother’ in Europe today. It will be of interest not only
to those working in gender, women’s and feminist studies, but also to
scholars in literary and cultural studies, and those researching in sociology,
criminology, politics, psychology, medical ethics, midwifery, and
related fields.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNew York and London
ISBN (Electronic)9781315626581
ISBN (Print)9781138648173
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Interdisciplinary Persepctives on Literature


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