Everyday World-Making: Toward an Understanding of Affect and Mothering


Price: $34.95

Page Count: 274

Publication Date: January 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77258-140-9

Affect is a slippery scholarly term that has been at the centre of social theory debates since the “affective turn” of the 1990s. Early affect research began with the attempt to distinguish affect from feeling and emotion; however, subsequent work began to question and blur these categories as it became apparent that a trans-disciplinary framework was necessary to account for the dynamic and multifaceted nature of affect. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to identify where affect begins and ends. This collection approaches this difficulty as an invitation to question and challenge categorizations and strict definitions, both in relation to affect and to mothering.

Unlike affect, “mother” is often assumed to be a straightforward, common sense kind of word. Yet, both the motherhood studies literature and first-hand accounts from self-identified mothers make it abundantly clear that the boundaries of “mother” are neither clear nor static. Furthermore, affect, mothering, and especially the affects of mothering can be seen as so ordinary or “everyday” that they can easily be rendered invisible or inconsequential. Attending to the intersections of affect and mothering is therefore a reclamation of the everyday as a culturally, socially, and politically relevant arena of world-making.

This cross-disciplinary collection considers the intersection of affect and mothering, with the aim of expanding both the experiential and theoretical frameworks that guide our understanding of mothering and of theories of affect. It brings together creative, reflective, poetic, and theoretical pieces to question, challenge, and re-conceptualize motherhood through the lens of affect, and affect through the lens of motherhood. The collection also aims to explore less examined mothering experiences such as failure, disgust, and ambivalence in order to challenge normative paradigms and narratives surrounding mothers and mothering.  The authors in this collection demonstrate the theoretical and practical possibilities opened up by a simultaneous consideration of affect and mothering, thereby broadening our understanding of the complexities and nuances of the always changing experiences of affect and mothering.

Understanding Affect and Mothering: An Introduction by Julia Lane and Eleonora Joensuu,

Chapter 1:
Sisterly Conversation: Considering Affect with and Through the Pregnant and Birthing Body by
Eleonora Joensuu and Sofia Joensuu

Becoming and Performing Mother

Chapter 2:
milk by Kari Maren

Chapter 3:
Navigating the Waters of Early Motherhood: Somatic Awareness, Creative Expression, and
Being Held by Stephanie Park

Chapter 4:
A Poetics of Maternal Failure by Julia Lane

Chapter 5:
Objects of a Maternal Haunting by Anna Johnson

Chapter 6:
Empty Maternal: Simulating Maternal Care in Marina Abramovic’s The Artist is Present by
Justyna Wierzchowska

Mothering and the Potentials of “Dark” Affect

Chapter 7:
That Baby will Cost You: An Intended Ambivalent Pregnancy by Dr. Sandra L. Faulkner

Chapter 8:
Blood, Mud, Poop, and Vomit: Re-imagining Disgust Through the Mother-Child Relationship by
Eleonora Joensuu

Chapter 9:
Unforgivable or Outlaw Emotions? The Heart of Maternal Darkness in Grazia Verasani’s From
Medea by Alessandro Castellini

Chapter 10:
fail by Kari Marken

Manoeuvering the Boundaries of “Mother”

Chapter 11:
Anishnaabe Fasting: Respecting the Power of Creation by Nicole Bell

Chapter 12:
“Mothering the Mother”: Doulas and the Affective Space by Brenda Benaglia

Chapter 13:
Instinct, Expertise, Connection: The Affective Experience of Mother’s Intuition by Emily

Chapter 14:
Families We Don’t Choose: Affects of Resisting the Institution of Motherhood by Lisa Poole

Chapter 15:
Sisterly Conversations: Considering Affect Through Mothering Experiences by Julia Lane and
Trang Do

Dr. Julia Lane is a clown scholar and a mother. Her research principally engages with ways of bringing clowning practice into academic spaces and conversations. This is her first publication with Demeter Press and her first stint as editor for a scholarly anthology.

Eleonora Joensuu is a PhD Candidate in Philosophy of Education at Simon Fraser University. She researches disgust and its role in selfhood and ethics. She is especially interested in how fascination and repulsion can coincide in disgust experiences. Eleonora lives, works, and plays on unceded Coast Salish territory in British Columbia, Canada.