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Book Cover for: On the Sovereignty of Mothers: The Political as Maternal, Gil Anidjar

On the Sovereignty of Mothers: The Political as Maternal

Gil Anidjar

Paternal, patriarchal, and fraternal concepts, metaphors, and images have long dominated thinking about politics. But the political, Gil Anidjar argues, has always been maternal.

In a series of finely woven meditations on slavery, sovereignty, and the social contract, this book places mothers and mothering at the crux of political thought. Anidjar identifies a maternal sovereignty and a maternal contract, showing that without motherhood, there could be no constitution, preservation, or reproduction of collective existence in time. And maternal power is also power over life and death, as he reveals through a nuanced consideration of abortion.

Through the concept of the maternal, Anidjar offers new insights into abiding sources from the Bible and ancient Greece to classical and modern political philosophy--the story of Hagar and Sarah, Oedipus and his two mothers, Hegel's dialectic of master and slave--reinterpreted in light of Black and feminist criticism, psychoanalytic theory, and autotheoretical reflection. Elegantly written and provocative, On the Sovereignty of Mothers offers the maternal as a new frame for understanding the political order.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publish Date: Nov 5th, 2024
  • Pages: 176
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9780231216449
  • Categories: Feminism & Feminist TheoryParenting - MotherhoodPhilosophy

About the Author

Gil Anidjar teaches in the Department of Religion and the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University. His books include The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy (2003); Semites: Race, Religion, Literature (2008); and Blood: A Critique of Christianity (2014).

Praise for this book

Gil Anidjar is a brilliant and provocative thinker. In this book, he takes up a well-worn topic (mothers and mothering) and succeeds in generating exciting new formulations and original insights. This beautifully conceived book exhibits dazzling erudition, philosophical sophistication, and startling literary analysis to ask urgent political and philosophical questions.--Elissa Marder, author of The Mother in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

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