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Confronting Postmaternal ThinkingFeminism, Memory, and Care$
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Julie Stephens

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231149211

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231149211.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 21 October 2019

Feminist Reminiscence

Feminist Reminiscence

(p.43) 2 Feminist Reminiscence
Confronting Postmaternal Thinking

Julie Stephens

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the troubling ways in which feminists have remembered their mothers, including memoir, autobiography, life writing, oral history, and public discourse. It questions what in fact the retelling of stories about mothers reveals about current cultural anxieties and concerns. In discussing the different ways feminists have recalled their mothers, the point will not be the reliability of the memories represented but rather what the transmission of these memories may indicate about how feminism and the maternal are currently defined and understood. Particular focus is on the “cultural forgetting” of the nurturing mother and the highly contradictory reworkings and responses to the second-wave feminist idea of women “giving birth to themselves”.

Keywords:   feminists, feminism, mothering, mothers, cultural forgetting, nurturing, postmaternal thinking

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