This collection of essays explores the gamut of Toni Morrison’s novels from her earliest to her most recent. Each of the essays examines the various ways in which Morrison’s work delineates and interrogates Western culture’s ideological norms of mothers, motherhood, and mothering. The essays consider Morrison’s female, and in some cases male, characters as challenging the concept that mothering and motherhood is a stable notion. The essays reveal both that mothering is a central concept in Morrison’s work and that an examination of this pervasive notion illuminates her corpus as a whole.
Toni Morrison and Mothers/Motherhood offers a wide range of scholarship that provides a compelling look at Morrison’s work through an array of interdisciplinary approaches that are grounded in feminist/gender studies. This interdisciplinary collection of essays will be of interest to scholars and critics concerned with the notions of how we define mother/motherhood/mothering and the problem of its interpretation within Western society as well as those engaged in the interpretation of African-American literature, Morrison’s work in particular.
Lee Baxter is an independent scholar with her M.A. in Gender Studies and a Ph.D. (A.B.D) in Gothic and Horror Literature and Film Studies. Broadly, her research concerns the representation of wounded bodies and psyches in literature and film.
Martha Satz, Assistant Professor of English at Southern Methodist University, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas in humanities and an A.B.D. in philosophy from Brown University. She has published widely on such diverse topics as Jane Austen, Richard Wright, Ann Petry, children’s literature, and genetics and the disability community. She teaches courses on minority literature, African- American women writers, and African-American literature. The adoptive mother of two bi-racial children (African American and white), now adults, she has written frequently about this experience.