Immediate Maternal

Authors: Anna Secor*, University of Kentucky
Topics: Gender, Cultural Geography, Women
Keywords: maternal, psychoanalysis, material feminism, sexual difference, ethics
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: 8201, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Is it possible to derive a radical feminist ethics from the maternal? This paper begins by engaging the work of Colette Soler and Alenka Zupancic in order to articulate how sexual difference seeds both the oppression of women in the phallic order and (arguably) the ethics and politics of its subversion. This subversion, I suggest, might be accomplished through the maternal, a relation of difference that manifests the incorporeal edge between identity and non-identity, matter and meaning. And yet, caught between too much and too little, between phantasies of lost wholeness and the (supposedly) psychosis-inducing threat of maternal consumption, the maternal seems to end up in a straightjacket. This paper engages Lacanian and material-feminist thought to unleash the maternal and to see if it can generate an ethico-onto-epistem-ology that might leave the phallic order without standing.

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