Introduction: Constructing Maternal Knowledge

Chris Laoutaris

in Shakespearean Maternities

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780748624362
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671687 | DOI:
Introduction: Constructing Maternal Knowledge

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Alice E. Adams' Reproducing the Womb: Images of Childbirth in Science, Feminist Theory, and Literature discusses how the march of ‘technologies that permit visual access to the fetus’ threatens to occlude the subtle, mutually-shaping, dynamic between mother and child. Karen Newman defines the ‘power of reproductive technologies to disperse maternity materially as well as socially’ in her Fetal Positions: Individualism, Science, Visuality. The Shakespearean theatre is a crucial medium for investigating the dichotomous nature of the maternal crises. The process of visualising pregnancy and embryological development was vital to the Renaissance imagination. A central principle of this book is its engagement with the material remains which mediated the reproduction, dissemination and practical application of maternal knowledge within the spatial contexts which produced the setting for its management and deployment. An overview of the chapters included in this book is given.

Keywords: maternal knowledge; Shakespearean theatre; pregnancy; embryological development; Alice E. Adams; Karen Newman; Reproducing the Womb; Fetal Positions

Chapter.  9219 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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