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Maternal Theory: Essential Readings
edited by Andrea O’Reilly

Maternal Theory

Click here to view the flyer.

May 2007
846 pages $59.95
ISBN 978-1-55014-482-6

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Theory on mothers, mothering and motherhood has emerged as a distinct body of knowledge within Motherhood Studies and Feminist Theory more generally. This collection, the first ever anthology on maternal theory, introduces readers to this rich and diverse tradition of maternal theory. Composed of 50 chapters and covering more than three decades of scholarship, Maternal Theory includes all the “must read” theorists on motherhood. Writers include: Adrienne Rich, Nancy Chodorow, Sara Ruddick, Alice Walker, Barbara Katz Rothman, bell hooks, Sharon Hays, Patricia Hill-Collins, Julia Kristeva, Kim Anderson, Audre Lorde, Ellen Lewin, Daphne de Marneffe, Ariel Gore, Ann Crittenden, Judith Warner and many more. Maternal Theory is essential reading for anyone interested in motherhood as experience, ideology, and identity.

Motherhood studies trailblazer Andrea O’Reilly has done it again! Maternal Theory provides readers with a much-needed single anthology of the essential readings on theories of motherhood from the past three decades. Folks just discovering the field of maternal theory, and those well versed in feminist theory and theories of motherhood, will find this collection invaluable. Scholars and students alike will broaden their knowledge and their libraries with this indispensable collection of texts on mothers, mothering and motherhood. It’s a must read for all, and essential for anyone teaching in the area.
- Fiona Joy Green, PhD., Chair, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, University of Winnipeg

“We have been hungry for a text that unfolds mother theorizing as both evolutionary and revolutionary. O’Reilly lays out in this reader a sumptuous feast. A broad array of maternal theory staples and delicacies--more than you can digest in one sitting.”
- Amber E. Kinser, Ph.D., Director, Women’s Studies, East Tennessee State University

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 founder and director of the Association for Research on Mothering.

 

Reviews of Maternal Theory: Essential Readings

Maternal Theory Review by Carla Atherton in Cahoots Magazine.

Maternal Theory Review by Cathering Rowland (reprinted online with generous permission of Catherine Rowland and Network: the Journal of Women, Word, Spirit/Catholic Women's Network).

Maternal Theory Review ©Noreen Shanahan, Herizons Winter 2009 Volume 22 No. 3. Reprinted with permission.

Maternal Theory: Essential Readings

Theory on mothers, mothering and motherhood has emerged as a distinct body of knowledge within Motherhood Studies and Feminist Theory more generally. This collection, the first ever anthology on maternal theory, introduces readers to this rich and diverse tradition of maternal theory. Composed of 50 chapters and covering more than three decades of scholarship, Maternal Theory includes all the “must read” theorists on motherhood. Writers include: Adrienne Rich, Nancy Chodorow, Sara Ruddick, Alice Walker, Barbara Katz Rothman, bell hooks, Sharon Hays, Patricia Hill-Collins, Julia Kristeva, Kim Anderson, Audre Lorde, Ellen Lewin, Daphne de Marneffe, Ariel Gore, Ann Crittenden, Judith Warner and many more. Maternal Theory is essential reading for anyone interested in motherhood as experience, ideology, and identity.

Motherhood studies trailblazer Andrea O’Reilly has done it again! Maternal Theory provides readers with a much-needed single anthology of the essential readings on theories of motherhood from the past three decades. Folks just discovering the field of maternal theory, and those well versed in feminist theory and theories of motherhood, will find this collection invaluable. Scholars and students alike will broaden their knowledge and their libraries with this indispensable collection of texts on mothers, mothering and motherhood. It's a must read for all, and essential for anyone teaching in the area.

- Fiona Joy Green, PhD., Chair, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, University of Winnipeg

"We have been hungry for a text that unfolds mother theorizing as both evolutionary and revolutionary.  O'Reilly lays out in this reader a sumptuous feast. A broad array of maternal theory staples and delicacies--more than you can digest in one sitting.”

- Amber E. Kinser, Ph.D.,  Director, Women's Studies, East Tennessee State University

May 2007 1-55014-482-  pb  846 pp6  $49.95 CDN/USD

Table of Contents

Andrea O’Reilly  “Introduction”

Adrienne Rich   “Introduction from Of Woman Born”

Adrienne Rich   “Anger and Tenderness”

Nancy Chodorow “Early Psychological Development”

Mary O’Brien “The Dialectics of Reproduction”

Alice Walker “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens”

Sara Ruddick “Maternal Thinking”

Sara Ruddick “Preservative Love and Military destruction: Some Reflections on Mothering and Peace"

bell hooks “Revolutionary Parenting” 

Audre Lorde “Man Child: A Black Lesbian Feminist’s Response”

Julia Kristeva “Stabat Mater”

Baba Copper “The Radical Potential in Lesbian Mothering of Daughters”

Nancy Polikoff “Lesbians Choosing Children: The Personal is Political Revisited

Miriam M. Johnson “Women’s Mothering and Male Misogyny”

Valerie Walkerdine and Helen Lucey “It’s Only Natural”

Marianne Hirsch “Introduction: Unspeakable Plots”

Marianne Hirsch “Prelude: Origins and Paradigms”

bell hooks “Homeplace: a Site of Resistance”

Patricia Hill Collins “The Meaning of Motherhood in Black Culture and Black Mother-Daughter Relationships”

Ann Snitow “Feminism and Motherhood: An American Reading”

Patricia Hill Collins “Shifting the Center: Race, Class and Feminist Theorizing about Motherhood”

Shari L. Thurer “Introduction” from The Myths of Motherhood

Olga Silverstein and Beth Rashbaum “Leaving Home: The Young Man’s Rite of Passage”

Ellen Lewin “Negotiating Lesbian Motherhood: The Dialectics of Resistance and Accommodation”

Barbara Katz Rothman “Beyond Mothers and Fathers: Ideology in a Patriarchal Society”   

Sharon Hays “Why Can’t a Mother Be More Like a Businessman?”

Elaine Tuttle Hansen “A Sketch in Progress: Introducing the Mother Without Child”

Susan Maushart “Faking Motherhood: The Mask Revealed”

Dorothy Roberts “Introduction from Killing the Black Body

Carol Thomas “The Baby and the Bath Water: Disabled Women and Motherhood in Social Context”  

Katherine Arnup “Does the Word Lesbian Mean Anything to You?”

Mielle Chandler “Emancipated Subjectivities and the Subjugation of Mothering Practices”

Patrice DiQuinzio “Mothering and Feminism: Essential Mothering and the Dilemma of Difference”

Drucilla Cornell “Reimagining Adoption and Family Law”

Jessica Benjamin “The Omnipotent Mother: A Psychoanalytic Study of Fantasy and Reality”

Paula J. Caplan “Don’t Blame Mother: Then and Now”

Ann Crittenden “Where we are Now”

Susan J. Douglas and Meredith W. Michaels “Introduction: The New Momism from The Mommy Myth

Shu-Ju Ada Cheng “Right to Mothering: Motherhood as a Transborder Concern in the Age of Globalization”

Emily J. Noonan “The Globalization of Love: Transnational Adoption and Engagement with the Globalized World

Molly Ladd-Taylor “Mother-Worship/Mother-Blame: Politics and Welfare in an Uncertain Age”

Daphne de Marneffe “The Problem of Maternal Desire”

Elena R. Gutiérrez “We Will No Longer Be Silent or Invisible: Latinas Organising for Reproductive Justice”

Judith Warner “The Motherhood Religion”

Jane Juffer “Introduction: Domestic Intellectuals: Freedom and the Single Mom”

Ariel Gore “High Risk: Who a Mother Should Be”

Kim Anderson “Giving Life to the People: An Indigenous Ideology of Motherhood”

Chris Bobel “Resisting, But Not Too Much: Interrogating the Paradox of Natural Mothering”

Andrea O’Reilly “Feminist Mothering” 

Larissa Mercado-López “Con el Palote en Una Mano y el Libro en la Otra”

Patrizia Albanese “Territorializing Motherhood: Motherhood and Reproductive Rights in Nationalist Sentiment and Practice”

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