Mother-Texts: Narratives and Counter-Narratives
Editor: Marie Porter and Julie Kelso
Date Of Publication: Sep 2010
Every day, human beings tell and are told stories, sometimes in obvious ways, sometimes not. Most of our communication with each other, direct or indirect, involves narrative production and reception. Narrative is constitutive of human being. However, whose narratives are heard? Feminists argue that the relations between language, knowledge, gender and power, particularly the question as to whether man-made and controlled language is a material fit to receive and convey woman’s stories, are critical issues, because historically, patriarchy has worked to silence women’s dialogue. Male knowledge, unsurprisingly, created and continues to create unrepresentative maternal narratives which lead to unreal expectations of mothers and motherwork. It is, therefore, disconcertingly significant for mothers that neither mothers nor their motherwork have been considered worthy of historical record; nor are historical records usually written from a mother’s perspective. Hence, the narrative research in this book, which gives recognition to motherhood, mothers and/or the work they do, is valuable.
It adds to the rapidly accumulating maternal research—research that is now available for the historical record. Mothers are speaking up, developing a canon of literature/research narrated in maternal language and claiming maternal knowledge and power.
Marie Porter is Honorary Associate Researcher in the Centre for Research on Women, Gender, Culture and Social Change at the University of Queensland, Australia. She is an editor of the books Motherhood: Power and Oppression (2005) and Theorising and Representing Maternal Realities (2008). Her monograph Transformative Power in Motherwork (2008) examines Australian mothering in the 1950s/1960s. Marie was a founding member, and President, of ARM-A for many years. She is still on the committee of ARM-A, now the Australian Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (A-MIRCI) which exists to encourage the academic study, and recognition, of mothering. She had three sons, but has lost her youngest son. Her six grandchildren range from one to 19 years in age.
Julie Kelso is Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Literature at Bond University and Honorary Research Adviser in the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at the University of Queensland, Australia. She has published in the areas of feminist biblical studies, feminist philosophy and mothering and literature. Her recent book, O Mother Where Art Thou?: An Irigarayan Reading of the Book of Chronicles (London: Equinox, 2007), explores the relationship between the maternal body and silence in the Hebrew Book of Chronicles. She is the Managing Editor of the e-journal The Bible and Critical Theory.
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Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)