CFP: Mothers and Motherhood as National Allegory (6/15/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Lisa E. Bernstein
contact email: 

CFP: Mothers and Motherhood as National Allegory (06/15/2006;

For an Edited Collection tentatively entitled (M)Othering the Nation:
Constructing and Resisting Regional and National Allegories Through the
Maternal Body, edited by Lisa Bernstein and Pamela Monaco.

At the invitation of Cambridge Scholars Press, we are submitting for
publication an anthology of critical scholarly essays on the topic of
motherhood and the maternal body reconfigured as motherland. The
precise focus of this study is the multiple ways in which mothers and
motherhood have figured as tropes of nation formation and of national
development and/or disintegration. Essays are welcomed from all
linguistic, historical, national, and cultural contexts, that address
ways in which literature, performance, and visual arts have used the
figure of the mother to represent, deconstruct, and/or transgress
geographical, cultural, and ideological nations and regions.

Responding to Frederic Jameson's contention in "Third World Literature
in the Era of Multinational Capitalism" that all "Third World"
literatures constitute allegories of nation-formation, Jean Franco, in
"The Nation as Imagined Community," and Aijaz Ahmad, in "In Theory:
Nations, Classes, and Literatures," critique assumptions and
generalizations concerning "Third World Literature," and question the
viability of "the nation" as a construct. This anthology intends both
to insert itself into this conversation, and to address the impact of
allegorical representations of "the mother" on real women's lives.

This volume will discuss mythical and historical narratives that connect
the mother's body and motherhood to the ideas of community, region, and
nation. Papers might examine the images and uses of marginalized women,
such as mothers of minority racial and ethnic status and lesbian
mothers. Of particular interest is the role of literature and cultural
institutions in colonial, anti-colonial, and post-colonial
representations and contestations of the nation as real and imagined
community. Proposals may draw on recent social, political, and cultural
theory to explore ways in which literature and society have used the
figure of the mother to represent nationhood and to construct and
transform notions of national identity, or alternatively, to envision
new and different concepts of community and social space beyond the idea
of the nation-state.

Abstracts (400-500 words) due June 15, 2006. Acceptances will be made
by the end of August 1. Accepted papers of approximately 15-20 pages
will be due December 15, 2006.

Please send any inquiries and abstracts via email to both Lisa Bernstein
( and Pamela Monaco (

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Received on Wed Mar 15 2006 - 08:28:38 EST