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


Price: $34.95

Page Count: 340

Publication Date: January 2018

ISBN: 978-1-77258-140-9

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 mothering through the lens of affect, and affect through the lens of mothering. 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 world-making.

“This book provides a beautiful, visceral, and expansive conceptualization of mothering, legitimizing the contradictions and messy everydayness that exists alongside the moments of pure wonder and revealing the interconnectedness of it all. The editors bravely expose the intimate realms of affect and mothering, a space that is theoretically far too underexplored. It is an empowering book that makes one feel like anything is possible. A book that actively defies westernized theories of the autonomous self, revealing instead the communal, relational, and always changing aspects of mothering.”
—MELINDA VANDENBELD GILES, Professor, Anthropology and English, Lakehead University; editor, Mothering in the Age of Neoliberalism

“I read this manuscript with great pleasure, anticipation, as well as a sense of relief. By including a broad range of genres, from the academic to the expressive, the book brings a welcome freshness to the emerging discussion of affect and motherhood, and will be an especially productive icebreaker for rich conversations in the classroom. Offering a wide open discussion of the ways mothers/mothering/motherhood can be read through the lens of affect theory, it also troubles resistant notions of what maternality is and can be. Finally, it asks important questions: why haven’t we talked about mothering and affect before? And, why is it still so hard to talk about them now? ”
—KIM MULDER, Teacher of Secondary Humanities; former researcher, Canadian Early Women Writers Database Project


The Everyday World of Affect and Mothering: An Introduction
Julia Lane and Eleonora Joensuu

Sisterly Conversation: Considering Affect With and Through the Pregnant and Birthing Body Eleonora Joensuu and Sofia Joensuu

i. becoming and performing mother
Becoming Mother, Performing Mothering
Julia Lane and Eleonora Joensuu

Kari Marken

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

A Poetics of Maternal Failure
Julia Lane

Objects of a Maternal Haunting
Anna Johnson

Empty Maternal:
Simulating Maternal Care in Marina Abramović’s The Artist Is Present
Justyna Wierzchowska

ii. mothering and the potentials of “dark” affect

The “Dark Side” of Mothering
Julia Lane and Eleonora Joensuu

That Baby Will Cost You:
An Intended Ambivalent Pregnancy Sandra L. Faulkner

Blood, Mud, Poop, and Vomit:
Reimagining Disgust Through the Mother-Child Relationship Eleonora Joensuu

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

Kari Marken

iii. manoeuvring the boundaries of mother

Blurring Boundaries, Manoeuvring Motherhood
Julia Lane and Eleonora Joensuu

Anishinaabe Fasting: Respecting the Power of Creation
Nicole Bell

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

Instinct, Expertise, Connection:
The Affective Experience of Mother’s Intuition Emily Sadowski

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

Sisterly Conversation:
Considering Affect Through Mothering Experiences Julia Lane and Trang Do

About the Contributors

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.