From Wine Moms to QAnon: The Violence at the Heart of White Women’s Wellness Culture

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Anna Mae Duane/ Elizabeth Marshall

From Wine Moms to QAnon: The Violence at the Heart of  White Women’s Wellness Culture

This proposed edited collection historicizes the harms leveled by the white middle class’s appropriation of Audre Lorde’s investment in self-care. More specifically, we consider how the aspirational empowerment and self-improvement industry has emerged as a force that obscures the violence embedded in individualism, neglects collective trauma, and negates the possibility of collective solutions. Inspired by Kyla Schuller’s observation that white women’s culture often  “presents capitalism as the deliverer of equality” and thus obscures how  how “capitalism is actually a chief engine of social harm,” we seek essays that explore how the white self-care/wellness industry—broadly defined from the eighteenth century to the present day—exerts a discipline that narrows the radical possibilities of what carework could mean, either for oneself, one’s family, or for one’s community.

Questions that guide the collection include:

●      What historical lineages does white women’s wellness culture draw upon? How do these histories contextualize current iterations of white women’s wellness culture?

●      Through what cultural apparatuses are the links between and among white women, wellness and violence produced?

●      How is white, privileged motherhood deployed within a capitalist framework to reassert domesticity/martyrdom?

●      How does the category of white, privileged motherhood enable the cultural work of white supremacy?

●      How does the individualized work of wellness hide the violence of capitalism and resultant harms between and among women?

It is our goal to send a complete manuscript to a publisher in the fall of 2023. Please send abstracts of between 250-500 words by March 15th, 2023.  A full draft (approximately 6,000 words) would be due by July 15th, 2023.