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.
Approaching the Cafeteros' art from a cultural studies perspective, O'Reilly Herrera examines how the history of Cuba informs their work and establishes their connections to past generations of Cuban artists. In interviews with more than thirty artists, including José Bedia, María Brito, Leandro Soto, Glexis Novoa, Baruj Salinas, and Ana Albertina Delgado, O'Reilly Herrera also raises critical questions regarding the many and sometimes paradoxical ways diasporic subjects self-affiliate or situate themselves in the narratives of scattering and displacement. She demonstrates how the Cafeteros' artmaking involves a process of re-rooting, absorption, translation, and synthesis that simultaneously conserves a series of identifiable Cuban cultural elements while re-inscribing and transforming them in new contexts.
An important contribution to both diasporic and transnational studies and discussions of contemporary Cuban art, Cuban Artists Across the Diaspora ultimately testifies to the fact that a long tradition of Cuban art is indeed flourishing outside the island.
The collection examines how authors use textual spaces to accept, negotiate, resist, or challenge traditional conceptions of mothering and maternal roles, and how these texts offer alternative practices and visions for mothers. Further, it illuminates how textual representations both reflect and help to define or (re)shape the realities of women and families by examining how mothering and being a mother are political, personal, and creative narratives unfolding within both the pages of a book and the spaces of a life. The range of chapters maps a shift from the daughter-centric stories that have dominated the maternal tradition to the matrilineal and matrifocal perspectives that have emerged over the last few decades as the mother’s voice moved from silence to speech.
Contributors make aesthetic, cultural, and political claims and critiques about mothering and motherhood, illuminating in new and diverse ways how authors and the protagonists of the texts “read” their own maternal identities as well as the maternal scripts of their families, cultures, and nations in their quest for self-knowledge, agency, and artistic expression.