Coming to Life: Philosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering—a new book edited by Sarah LaChance Adams and Caroline Lundquist

Coming-to-Life-cover-imageComing to Life: Philosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering
edited by Sarah LaChance Adams and Caroline Lundquist
Fordham University Press
November 2012
424 pages

A book that grew out of a 2009 conference that received substantial support from CSWS has been published by Fordham University Press. Coming to Life: Philosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering, was edited by Sarah LaChance Adams and Caroline Lundquist. Adams and Lundquist were members of the CSWS research interest group Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Mothering, which held the “Philosophical Inquiry into Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Mothering Conference” in May 2009.

Sarah LaChance Adams graduated from the UO with a PhD in philosophy; she is an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Caroline Lundquist completed her PhD in philosophy at UO in June 2013. Adams received a 2008 CSWS Graduate Student Research Grant for her project, “Charity is a Mother: The Nature of Nurture in Maternal Ethics.”

PCM-poster-second-design-copyIn Coming to Life, 16 authors— including both established feminists and some of today’s most innovative new scholars— engage in sustained reflections on the experiences of pregnancy, childbirth and mothering, and on the beliefs, customs, and political institutions by which those experiences are informed. Many of the topics in this collection, though familiar, are here taken up in a new way: contributors think beyond the traditional pro-choice/pro-life dichotomy, speak to the manifold nature of mothering by considering the experiences of adoptive mothers and birthmothers, and upend the belief that childrearing practices must be uniform despite psycho-sexual differences in children. Many chapters reveal the radical shortcomings of convention philosophical wisdom by placing trenchant assumptions about subjectivity, gender, power and virtue in dialogue with women’s experience. The volume is diverse both in its content and in its scholarly approach; certain of the essays are informed by their authors’ own experiences, others draw from extant narratives; many engage such canonical male thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche and Heidegger, while others draw from the works of contemporary feminists including Sara Ruddick, Iris Marion Young, Virginia held, Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray. All readers, regardless of their philosophical training and commitments, will find much to appreciate in this volume.

Read more about this volume at Fordham University Press: