Book Description

Review With sly wit, impressive historical scope and deep moral conviction, Rebecca Kukla brilliantly illuminates modern cultural beliefs and practices about motherhood as an embodied experience. Taking us back into seventeenth century Europe and through the Enlightenment, Kukla deftly and vividly interprets texts and pictures to uncover the historical foundations of the mutually constitutive relationship between maternal bodies and the body politic and to illustrate how this history, no less than contemporarytechnologies, shapes and constrains the lived experience of pregnancy and mothering today. With insights that transcend liberalism and postmodernism, Kukla re-interprets the usual dichotomies?private/public, nature/culture, inner/outer, self/other?and offers a profoundly feminist reading of the fluid, permeable boundaries of maternal bodies. The ?fix? she proposes is one that promises to restore women?s integrity, agency and identity both within and without motherhood. <|>Mass Hysteria<|> is a tour deforce of feminist scholarship. (Elizabeth M. Armstrong, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University)Kukla advances feminist thinking about maternity and breastfeeding?Highly recommended. (CHOICE)A learned, engaging, and lively account. (Hilde Lindemann Hastings Center Report)Packed with material drawn from the history of medicine as well as popular and professional sources....A rich resource. (Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy)[Kukla's] analysis is occasionally brilliant. (Feminist Collections: A Quarterly Of Women's Studies Resources, Summer / Fall 2008)Mass Hysteria: Medicine, Culture and Mothers' Bodies is articulate, thoughtful, carefully researched and argued. It breaks new ground in both feminist and philosophical scholarship. Kukla encourages us to reflect critically on what mothers expect of themselves, and what society expects of mothers. (Amy Mullin, University of Toronto Mississauga)With sly wit, impressive historical scope and deep moral conviction, Rebecca Kukla brilliantly illuminates modern cultural beliefs and practices about motherhood as an embodied experience. Taking us back into seventeenth century Europe and through the Enlightenment, Kukla deftly and vividly interprets texts and pictures to uncover the historical foundations of the mutually constitutive relationship between maternal bodies and the body politic and to illustrate how this history, no less than contemporary technologies, shapes and constrains the lived experience of pregnancy and mothering today. With insights that transcend liberalism and postmodernism, Kukla re-interprets the usual dichotomies?private/public, nature/culture, inner/outer, self/other?and offers a profoundly feminist reading of the fluid, permeable boundaries of maternal bodies. The ?fix' she proposes is one that promises to restore women's integrity, agency and identity both within and without motherhood. Mass Hysteria is a tour de force of feminist scholarship. (Elizabeth M. Armstrong, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University) Read more About the Author Rebecca Kukla is an associate professor of philosophy at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, as well as an affiliated associate professor at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University. From 2003-2005, she was a Greenwall Fellow in Bioethics and Health Policy at The Johns Hopkins University. She is the editor of Aesthetics and Cognition in Kant's Critical Philosophy (2006), as well as the author of numerous articles and book chapters. Read more

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