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Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 23, Issue 1, Spring 2016
Mothering from the Margins: Critical Conversations

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1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Amrita Banerjee, Bonnie Mann, Philosophical Articulations on “Mothering” and “Care” from the “Margins”
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PCW Editors’ Comments: In this volume we are privileged to publish a special edition on mothering from the margins. The guest editors Amrita Banerjee and Bonnie Mann have collected a range of submissions representing original and insightful perspectives on motherhood.
2. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Diana Carolina Peláez Rodríguez, Stuck on This Side: Symbolic Dislocation of Motherhood due to Forced Family Separation in Mexican Women Deported to Tijuana
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This paper is about the experience of Mexican women deported to Tijuana, especially those who are mothers, and how they live the forced separation from their family. First, the phenomenon of family separation in migration is explained and then contrasted with the separation due to deportation and the moral harm produced in mothers in both cases; then there is a closer look to the meanings deported women give to the separation and finally I will posit that motherhood as they know it, suffers a fracture, a dislocation that leaves them with barely no resources to resignify it. A third discussion goes deeper in their options of family reunification; and finally a characterization of Transnational Motherhood in Deportation is given, in order to highlight an understanding of this non-normative mothering perspective. Along the way, testimonies of some of the women I encountered in my visits will support the arguments.
3. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Harrod J. Suarez, Dreaming of Bad Motherhood in the Jungle
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This essay explores different versions of motherhood in Jessica Hagedorn’s Dream Jungle, in which the protagonist, Lina, is exposed to, influenced by, and recruited into arguably nationalist and global forms as she navigates the fictionalized filming of Apocalypse Now in the 1970s Philippines. But upon deciding to leave the film set and the nation to go to the U.S., Lina derives insight from alternative sources that enable her to reimagine a diasporic maternal position, one that negotiates her relationship to her child and the Philippines while placing nationalist and global motherhood under erasure.
4. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Shirley Glubka, Claiming: thoughts of an unconventional older mother
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The author is a lesbian poet, novelist, and essayist who chose to give up the daily parenting of her three-year-old son in 1973 and who has written about the experience over the decades. She is also a woman who reads philosophy. Now, from the perspective of her older years and in the light of philosophy, she once again considers her relationship to motherhood. This is a personal essay: descriptive, meditative, and creative.
5. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Bonnie Mann, Adoption, Race, and Rescue: Transracial Adoption and Lesbian/Gay Ascendency to Whiteness
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In this article, I examine transracial adoption in which the parents are white and gay or lesbian in the context of an America coming to tolerate, accept, embrace, and even celebrate gay family life, while increasingly retreating from basic aspirations to race-based equality and fairness. It is about the narratives of whiteness that accompany transracial adoption, and that claim families in ways that cause harm. It is also about patriotic nationalism in post 9/11 USA, and the story of sexual progressiveness that has infused our national imaginary in complex and paradoxical ways over the last decade. We are called on to account for the costs of allowing our commitments to justice in relation to race and sexuality to become fragmented.
6. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Shelley M. Park, “When We Handed Out the Crayolas, They Just Stared at Them”: Deploying metronormativity in the war against FLDS mothers
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In 2008, over 400 children living on the Yearning for Zion Ranch, a rural Texas polygamist community of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS), were forcibly removed from their mothers’ care by State troopers responding to allegations of child abuse. This essay examines the role of neoliberal ideologies and, more specifically, what some queer theorists have identified as ‘metronormativity’ in solidifying a widespread caricature of FLDS mothers as ‘bad’ mothers. The intersections of these ideologies with neocolonialist discourses, I argue, positions the FLDS mother as a subaltern subject unable to effectively speak in her own defense.
7. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Amrita Banerjee, Karilemla, Arju as “Caring Space, In-Between”: Philosophical Reflections on “Care” from Ao Naga, India
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Through a philosophical engagement with “Arju” (communal dormitories for children/adolescents among the Ao tribe, India), we develop a distinct conceptualization of it as “caring space, in-between”. In its various ontological, epistemological, and ethical dimensions, Arju becomes a space for mothering of Ao children and of caring for the tribe at large. It provides a basis for developing a notion of “caring space” within a philosophy of care. Finally, while theorizing its “in-between” character, we argue that Arju resists mapping onto dominant Western spatial binaries such as private/public, home/world, etc. This essay is not only an articulation of a non-dominant group’s philosophy of “mothering” and “care”, but also aims to create an alternative theoretical space from which to engage with the dominantly Western feminist philosophies of care.
8. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Biographical Notes on Authors
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