Mothering is a central issue for feminist theory, and motherhood is also a persistent presence in the work of Toni Morrison. Examining Morrison’s novels, essays, speeches, and interviews, Andrea O’Reilly illustrates how Morrison builds upon black women’s experiences of and perspectives on motherhood to develop a view of black motherhood that is, in terms of both maternal identity and role, radically different from motherhood as practiced and prescribed in the dominant culture. Motherhood, in Morrison’s view, is fundamentally and profoundly an act of resistance, essential and integral to black women’s fight against racism (and sexism) and their ability to achieve well-being for themselves and their culture. The power of motherhood and the empowerment of mothering are what make possible the better world we seek for ourselves and for our children. This, argues O’Reilly, is Morrison’s maternal theory—a politics of the heart.
Andrea O’Reilly is Associate Professor in the School of Women’s Studies at York University and President of the Association for Research on Mothering. She is the author and editor of several books on mothering, including (with Sharon Abbey) Mothers and Daughters: Connection, Empowerment, and Transformation andMothers and Sons: Feminism, Masculinity, and the Struggle to Raise Our Sons.
The first ever on the topic, this Encyclopedia of Motherhood helps to both demarcate motherhood as a scholarly field and an academic discipline and to direct its future development. With more than 700 entries, these three volumes provide information on the central terms, concepts, topics, issues, themes, debates, theories, and texts of this new discipline. Further, the encyclopedia examines the topic of motherhood in various contexts such as history and geography and by academic discipline.
Key FeaturesProvides an overview of the topic of motherhood in many and diverse disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, psychology and philosophyExamines the meaning and experience of motherhood in many time periods from classic civilizations to present dayIncludes an entry for all the influential theorists of maternal scholarship from the pioneering theories to the more recent writingsCovers issues and events of our current times including entries on the mommy blog, the motherhood memoir, terrorism, reproductive technologies, HIV/AIDS, and LGBT familiesExplores geographical, cultural, and ethnic diversity with an entry for almost every country in the world as well as entries on lesbian, immigrant, adoptive, single, nonresidential, young, poor mothers and mothers with disabilities
Key ThemesHistory of MotherhoodIssues in MotherhoodMotherhood and FamilyMotherhood and HealthMotherhood and SocietyMotherhood Around the WorldMotherhood in the United StatesMotherhood StudiesProminent Mothers
In human society, few institutions are as important as motherhood, and this unique encyclopedia captures the interdisciplinary foundation of the subject in one convenient reference. The scope of the Encyclopedia of Motherhood is focused on providing a comprehensive resource to understanding the complexities of motherhood for academic and public libraries, written by scholars and institutional experts in the social and behavioral sciences.