edited by Andrea O’Reilly
The year 2009 marks twenty years since the publication of Sara Ruddick’s monumental text Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace, a book that is regarded, along with Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born, as the most significant work in maternal scholarship and the new field of Motherhood Studies. What made Maternal Thinking so life-changing and ground-breaking was that it foregrounded what all mothers know: motherwork is inherently and profoundly an intellectual activity and theorized the obvious: Mothers think. This volume, published to commemorate and celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Maternal Thinking, explores the impact and influence this book has had on maternal scholarship and revisits what motherhood scholars regard as the pivotal insights of Ruddick’s text: motherwork is a practice that gives rise to and is informed by “maternal thinking”; mothering, as a practice, is composed of and characterized by particular characteristics; this work is not defined by or reducible to gender; and maternal thinking makes possible a politics a peace. The volume includes 17 contributors from disciplines as diverse as anthropology, sociology, literature, philosophy, education, women’s studies and psychology and features a conversation with and an epilogue by Sara Ruddick.
“I was transformed by Sara Ruddick’s Maternal Thinking when it was first published. Now we have a stunning collection of essays by writers, social scientists, philosophers and activists illustrating how profound an effect the very idea of ‘maternal thinking,’ in all its implications, has had on them. I was educated and moved, reminded and expanded, by the writers whose work fills this crucial collection." —jane lazarre, author of The Mother Knot and Beyond The Whiteness of Whiteness
Andrea O’Reilly is an Associate Professor in the School of Women’s Studies at York University. She is author/editor of twelve books on Mothering/ Motherhood including Mother Outlaws: Theories and Practices of Empowered Mothering. O’Reilly is the founder, director of the Association for Research on Mothering (ARM).
Table of Contents
Introduction - Andrea O’Reilly
A Conversation About Maternal Thinking - Sara Ruddick and Andrea O’Reilly
Explaining the World: Philosophical Reflections on Feminism and Mothering
- Maureen Linker
Paid Childcare, Responsibility and Trust - Amy Mullin
Narrating as a Mother: Experience, Cognition, and Narrative Form in Jane Smiley’s Ordinary Love and Good Will - Joanne Frye
The Virture of Honoring Oneself - Judith Andre.
Maternal Thinking and Civic Virtue: A Healthy Ethical Dialectic - Ann Mongoven.
Mothering Without Norms?: Empirical Realities and Normative Conceptualizations of Mothering - Patrice DiQuinzio
The Mother in Mr. Chipps: Educating Artists and Maternal Thinking - Denise Ferris
Mothers Working Together for Peace: Sara Ruddick and the Madres of the Plaza de Mayo - Marguerite Guzmán Bouvard
Cindy Sheehan: A Call to Maternal Activism in the Contemporary Peace Movement - Linda Pershing
Migration and Maternalism: (Re) Configuring Ruddick’s Maternal Thinking
- Glenda Lynna Anne Tibe Bonifacio
Rethinking Ruddick’s Birthgiver/Adoptive Mother Distinction - Jean Keller
Sara Ruddick’s ‘Motherwork’: Personal Perceptions to Academic Analysis - Marie Porter
Maternal Thinking Expanded: A Psychologist’s View - Regina Edmonds.
Feminist Mothering as Maternal Practice: Maternal Authority and Social Acceptability of Children - Andrea O’Reilly
Becoming a Mother, Becoming a Researcher: How Maternal Thinking Shaped a Career - Tracy R. Nichols
Maternal Practice: Mothering and Cultural Variation in Anthropology - Susan Schalge
Epilogue and a New Beginning - Sara Ruddick