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ERIC Number: EJ1040852
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0039-3541
McClure, Marissa
Studies in Art Education: A Journal of Issues and Research in Art Education, v55 n3 p253-257 Spr 2014
Recent scholarship in art education has introduced complex discourses of mothering, m/othering curriculum, (m)others), m(other)work, family structures that confront myths of the nuclear family, non-Western motherhoods, and disability. Feminist artists and activists have long confronted cultural constructions of motherhood and the pregnant, post-partum, and lactating body in their work. Yet, bodies rendered infertile through either biological or sociocultural exclusion from parenting and the loss(es) associated with infertility remain largely invisible in both artistic practice and academic discourse. This absence is "s/m/othering." It perpetuates misunderstandings of the complex reality of mothering and parenting experiences in all their expressions. It at best condones and at worst reproduces discriminatory institutional practices such as routine exclusion of fertility treatments and of benefits for adoptive families from health insurance plans, limiting possibilities for pursuing parenthood. McClure argues for both a presence for the experience of infertility along with an expansion of images of motherhood and parenthood within art and art education. Researchers have consistently found that people enduring infertility experience stress levels equivalent to cancer and HIV patients, but the medical community has been insensitive to infertility and hesitant to perceive it as a medical problem equivalent to a "real" disease. Women without children are almost always addressed with a language of absence and denial, even as scholars have argued that motherhood should be reconceived as a choice, a cultural institution, and not an instinct. Men, single people, same-sex couples, and trans-people experiencing infertility are almost totally absent from research, scholarship, and representation. While the scope of infertile exclusion contests cultural discourses about human rights and the right to life that are somewhat beyond the scope of this commentary, McClure maintains that representation and visibility for the infertile experience fits within the realms of feminist art, public pedagogy, and activist art education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A