Guest Lectures - Dr. Eglė Kačkutė and Dr. Valerie Heffernan
- Date: –17:00
- Location: Engelska parken - Eng6-0031
- Organiser: The Department of Literature
- Contact person: Anna Williams
The General Seminar - Literature
Guest lectures organized by the project "Mother Anyway: Literary, Medical and Media Narratives":
- Dr. Eglė Kačkutė, Vilnius University, Litauen: ”Maternal Silence: Between Vulnerability and Agency”
- Dr. Valerie Heffernan, National University of Ireland Maynooth: “The #RegrettingMotherhood in Germany: From Maternal Taboo to Feminist Protest”
Eglė Kačkutė: Portrayals of silent mothers crop up in contemporary literary narratives of migrant and expatriate mothering in texts of different languages. They are representations of migrant mothers who, despite being fluent in their native tongue, the language of the host country and sometimes both, are perceived as silent by their children. The aim of this paper is to analyse several literary portrayals of maternal silence and tease out its different causes as well as meanings. Maternal silence in diasporic women’s writing is traditionally interpreted as traumatic and as such raises questions as to the trauma behind the silence, that is to say, what silent mothers are silent about.
Valerie Heffernan: In April 2015, an article published in the journal Signs made headlines in Germany and provoked a storm of controversy in mainstream and social media that lasted for several weeks. The #RegrettingMotherhood debate in Germany – so-called because of the many tweets that used the English-language hashtag #RegrettingMotherhood to highlight their contribution to the ongoing debate – illustrates at once the intense public interest in motherhood in contemporary Germany and the power of social media to generate news. This paper first analyses how the debate played out within the debate within the German context and then uses the controversy to raise some broader questions about the meaning of motherhood in the contemporary era.