Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Mad Mothering

Learning From the Intersections of Madness, Mothering, and Disability

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2021), 15, (1), 39–56.

Abstract

The article brings together the fields of mad studies (LeFrancois et al.), matricentric feminism (O’Reilly, Matricentric Feminism) and critical disability studies (Goodley, “Dis/entangling Critical Disability Studies”). The aim is to expose and challenge “relations of ruling” (Smith 79) that both produce and discipline “mad mothers of disabled children.” The analysis begins by exploring the un/commonalities of the emerging histories of the three disciplines. The article then identifies analytical points of intersection, including critiques of neoliberalism; troubling the “norm” (including radical resistance and activism); intersectionality, post-colonial and queer theory. Finally, the article turns to points of divergence and possible tensions between these theoretical approaches as it explores the absence of disability in matricentric feminism, the contested place of mothering in critical disability studies, and the absence of mothering in mad studies.

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