Thinking through breasts: Writing maternity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This article begins by wondering how the writer’s transformation into motherhood affects her practice of reading, writing and research: how maternities are made academic. Specifically, this article is interested in thinking through lactating breasts, as a particularly complex and potentially subversive ‘performance’ of maternity. In addition, this article reframes ‘maternal thinking’ through 1990s theories of embodiment and corporeality, and asks how embodied practices like breastfeeding might be theorized, as well as how ‘embodied theory’ might be practised. In looking at various cultural texts about breasts and breastfeeding, the article is scripted into a series of connective and reflexive scenes around performance, space, language and knowledge, coming to rest in the imaginative project of an epistemology of breasts. It sets reflexive accounts of lived experience alongside theoretical reflections to create a dynamic and thoughtful reading of breasts, entwining personal and public discourses, maternal and academic writing, theorizing and cultural practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-188
Number of pages16
JournalFeminist Theory
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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