Mothers and Sons: Centering Mother Knowledge


Price: $39.95

Page Count: 332

Publication Date: July 2016

ISBN: 978-1-77258-018-1 · $39.95

Mothers and Sons: Centering Mother Knowledge makes a case for the need to de-gender the framing and study of parental legacy. The actualization of an entire collection on this dyad foregrounding motherhood without particularizing the absence of fatherhood is in itself revolutionary. This assemblage of analytical, narrative and creative renderings offers cross-disciplinary conceptualizations of maternal experiences across difference and mothering sons at intersections. The authors’ mother knowledge, or that of their subjects, delivers new insights into the appellations mother, son, motherhood and sonhood.

The contributors of Mothers and Sons are international women who are themselves straight, lesbian, abled, disabled, from various racial and ethnic groups, young, old, and in-between. They tell their stories with fierceness and commitment to expose mother knowledge in many of its ramifications. The result is a blessed diversity.
—Joanne V. Gabbin, Executive Director, Furious Flower Poetry Center, James
Madison University

A timely and bold contribution to Motherhood Studies, Mothers and Sons: Centering
Mother Knowledge enwraps readers in dynamic transcultural and transnational
autoethnographies of contemporary mother son relating. The multidisciplinary, analytic, narrative, and creatively rendered gathering, by editors Muhonja and Bernard, sets in motion a wealth of personal and scholarly conversationsamid the hard-won encounters, humor, and raw emotions of diverse mother knowledges. Motherhoods, recognized through biological, legal, social, or spiritual connections … mothers, queer, co-parenting, migrant, cross-racial, sole, adoptive, differently abled .… mothers and sons, among which, mothers of black sons, mothers of sons outside their own race, mothers of queer sons, biracial sons, differently-abled sons, poor mothers of sons, feminist mothers, mothers seeking a different language for mothering sons … the anthology, unmatched in its breadth and depth, is decisively anchored in the realities of the present, while enacting new approaches to motherhood and sonhood for the near future.
—Jeffner Allen, Professor, Philosophy and Africana Studies, Binghamton

A riveting and provocative collection of narratives, poems, short plays and analysis that lays bare the complexities around motherhood, particularly the relations between mothers and sons. Any reader can find themselves in here. No doubt— a book with a universal appeal! —Jane Rarieya, African Gender Scholar



Mothering at Intersections: Towards Centering Mother Knowledge
Besi Brillian Muhonja
In Black and White: African American and Anglo American Feminist Perspectives on Mothers and Sons
Andrea O’Reilly

Accounting for Lost Sons: The Black Mother before the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission

“It’s a … Penis!” Or the Epistemology of the Ultrasound
Alice Rutkowski

But I Am a Feminist! Masculinity, Privilege, and Mothering
Dara J. Silberstein

Letters to My Son
Renata Ferdinand

Mother Tells Me Her Dream
Nils Peterson

Sons Write Mothers in Contemporary Swedish Literature: Mustafa Can’s Close to the Days and Erik Wijk’s Only the Right Words
Helena Wahlström Henriksson

Mamas’ Boy: Queer Women Raising a Cohort of Men
Sara Graefe

Our Sons
Besi Brillian Muhonja

“Mom’s School” by Ben: An Epistemology of Falling Objects
Summer R. Cunningham

Four Decades in the Story of a Transracial Mother-Son Relationship
Martha Satz

Role-Play and Other Poems
Csilla Toldy

Life Lessons from My Mother: Reflections of an Adult Son
Wanda Thomas Bernard

Queering Confucius: Mothers and Transgender Sons in Contemporary China
Christian Potter

Disability and the Price of Myths about Mothering
Pamela Courtenay
Guné ci téfess (Baby on Shore)
Oumar Sarr

They Don’t Even Know They are My Sons: A Black Female Professor Speaks of Teaching across Race A Ritual of Reconciliation
Toni C. King

Parenting Cross-Culturally: Migritude and the Contradictions of Black Masculinity
Grace Adeniyi Ogunyankin

Raising Men: My Two Boys, Co-Parenting, and the Fight against Culture
Nicole L. Willey

The Fast
Donna J. Gelagotis Lee

A Boy Named Finn
Quincie Melville

Black Mother-Son Relationships in the Age of Ferguson
Dannielle Joy Davis, Kira Hudson Banks, Bryce Davis-Bohon, and Avery Washington Banks

Special Needs
Laurie Kruk

Editor’s Reflection On Mothers and Sons: Telling Stories Differently
Wanda Thomas Bernard

About the Contributors

Besi Brillian Muhonja, PhD, is an associate professor of Africana studies, women’s and gender studies, and African literatures and cultures at James Madison University. Her teaching and extensively published research covers gender and feminist studies and theory, Africana feminisms, motherhood studies, decolonial knowledges, digital humanities, and African literatures and cultures.

Wanda Thomas Bernard, PhD, is a social worker, educator, researcher, community activist, advocate, and mentor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Saint Vincent University, a masters of social work degree from Dalhousie University, and a PhD from the University of Sheffield in England. She served as director of the Dalhousie School of Social Work for ten years and has been a faculty member for over twenty-six years, now at the rank of full professor. Bernard’s research interests include work on health and well-being, women’s health, mothering, othermothering and otherfathering, education, and diversity. Thomas Bernard has received numerous awards, certificates and recognition over the years for her trendsetting work and effective community leadership, most notably the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada. She was recently appointed special advisor in diversity and inclusiveness at Dalhousie University.