The M Word: Real Mothers in Contemporary Art

I am pleased to announce the publication of a new book that includes work by Sue Maberry and me — The M Word: Real Mothers in Contemporary Art edited by Myrel Chernick and Jennie Klein (May 2011) from Demeter Press.

This important new collection has seven sections examining multiple aspects of mothering in contemporary art: History, Criticism, Theory, Artists’ Writings, Text/Image work, Interviews, and Visual Art. This stunning book includes full colour photographs and contributions from Mary Kelly, Susan Suleiman, Mignon Nixon, Jane Gallop, Margaret Morgan, Andrea Liss, Aura Rosenberg, Barbara T. Smith, Sherry Millner, Ellen McMahon, Renée Cox, Gail Rebhan, Marion Wilson, Judy Glantzman, Denise Ferris, Youngbok Hong, Patricia Cué, Monica Mayer, Cheri Gaulke, and more. Here’s what some scholars have to say about this book:

“The M Word puts the most hallowed and fraught life relationship of all into the center of visual culture. Working through feminist ambivalence about motherhood, this
collection offers a crucial corrective to the dearth of discussions about life choices and living tensions for creative women in art and art discourse. With a range of key feminist artists, art historians, and theorists addressing topics from Mexican feminist art collectives to the Holocaust and mothering to queer mothering, this book presents a range of rigorous thinking in textual and visual form. In The M Word, maternity, as a state, an ideology, an “image,” becomes the perfect pivot through which to examine women imagining ourselves into the sometimes incompatible roles of caring, care-taking, thinking, and making.”
—Amelia Jones, Grierson Chair in Visual Culture, Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University

“The M Word is a welcome addition to the fields of both maternal and art historical studies. In their strong introduction, Myrel Chernick and Jennie Klein provide a smart
historical grounding for the intersections of mothering and visual art. The union of scholarly and narrative voices and the range of visual material included offer a compelling framework for this volume devoted to a significant and (always) timely topic.”
—Rachel Epp Buller, editor of Reconciling Art and Mothering

“The central importance of this title lies in the richness of the work collected together, and in particular in its creation of a political archive of feminist artwork that engages with the maternal. It will be a key book in the area of feminist art theory. The wonderful interview with Mary Kelly is an important piece of art historical documentation in
– Imogen Tyler, Senior Lecturer and Leverhulme Research Fellow, Sociology Department, Lancaster University

Consider ordering this book for your personal or institutional library. Let’s get some more images and writing about mothers in art into the art historical record! Here’s a link to the order form.