vol 27 - 2001

If one strand of Second Wave feminism was a valorization of motherhood in terms that respected women's capacities, energies, and sheer domestic labor, this issue of Feminist Studies contains evidence of broader and more critical understandings of motherhood as a set of varying global practices and as a field of shifting ideologies, always in relationship to such other ideologies as those of nationalism, religion, and "racial purity" in specific national and historical contexts.

In an important corrective to earlier studies, "Writing Feminist Genealogy: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Racial Nationalism, and the Reproduction of Maternalist Feminism," Alys Eve Weinbaum examines Second Wave feminism's canonization of Gilman as role model and foremother, a glorification that consistently underplays Gilman's racism and nativism. Yet Gilman's utopia united by its common progenitress was not just incidentally tainted with the eugenic ethnocentrism of Gilman's time but was also constituted through it. Weinbaum shows that Gilman's maternalism was constructed through a racist essentialism that fixed on racial purity—white Anglo-Saxon racial purity—as the guarantor of a highly evolved moral society, free of the imperfections of supposedly lesser races. Weinbaum explicates Gilman's genealogical obsessions in light of a very different concept of genealogy, one derived from Nietzsche and Foucault. "How might a self-reflexive investigation into Gilman's feminism invigorate contemporary antiracist feminism," Weinbaum asks, "by making it attentive to the racism and nationalism that are constitutive of the type of feminism Gilman proposed" as well as to those traits within the more recent "feminism that seeks to rediscover and reclaim" her. Such an investigation is especially timely now that Gilman's evolutionary bigotry is echoed by current forms of social conservatism.


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Alys Eve Weinbaum
Writing Feminist Genealogy: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Racial Nationalism, and the Reproduction of Maternalist Feminism

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
Weaning the Breast (Poetry)

Paula A. Michaels
Motherhood, Patriotism, and Ethnicity:
Soviet Kazakhstan and the 1936 Abortion Ban

Elisabeth Lewis Corley
Near Foaling (Poetry)

Moira J. Maguire
The Changing Face of Catholic Ireland: Conservatism and Liberalism in the Ann Lovett and Kerry Babies Scandals

Aurora Reynoso
Hombre y Mujer; Housekeeping (Poetry)

Rhacel Salazar Parreñas
Mothering from a Distance: Emotions, Gender, and Intergenerational Relations in Filipino Transnational Families

Martha Ackelsberg
(Re)Conceiving Politics? Women's Activism and Democracy
in a Time of Retrenchment
(Review Essay)

Becky Gould Gibson
Daeg-Weorc (Poetry)

Carla Freeman and Donna F. Murdock
Enduring Traditions and New Directions in Feminist Ethnography in the Caribbean and Latin America (Review Essay)

Annalee Davis
Coming Home to the Self (Art Essay)

Bernice L. Hausman
Recent Transgender Theory (Review Essay)

Sarah Kennedy
Shopping (Poetry)

Rebecca S. Mills
Circumstances (Fiction)

Anke Finger and Victoria Rosner
Forum: Doing Feminism in Interdisciplinary Contexts (Introduction)

Susan Stanford Friedman
Academic Feminism and Interdisciplinarity

Wai Chee Dimock
Ethics of Care in Law and Science

Robyn Wiegman
Women's Studies: Interdisciplinary Imperatives, Again

Cindi Katz,
Disciplining Interdisciplinarity

Banu Subramaniam
Technoscientific Imaginations

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