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Helen Charman - Mother State: a Political History of Motherhood | Monday 21 October, 6.30pm

Helen Charman - Mother State: a Political History of Motherhood | Monday 21 October, 6.30pm

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Publishing on 29 August, Mother State is a radical case for what liberated mothering could be. PRE-ORDER your copy of the book here


Arguing that we need to understand motherhood itself as an inherently political state, one that poses a serious challenge to the status quo, here are stories from the front lines of mothers’ fights for alternative futures. From Women's Liberation to austerity, Margaret Thatcher to Kat Slater, we meet communities of lesbian squatters and anti-nuclear campaigners, the wives of striking miners and teenage mothers protesting housing cuts: groups who believed that if you want to nourish your children, you have to nourish the world around them too.

Growing up the daughter of a ‘single mum’ in the 1990s, Helen Charman believed in the notion of a ‘maternal’ state. Was that notion of the state or of motherhood ever a reality? Could we imagine, today, a world where mothering ceases to be a solely individual responsibility and becomes one of shared possibility – a term to organize under, for people of any gender, with or without children of their own? If so, it begins with an understanding: that to mother is a political act.


Formerly of Durham University's English Department, Helen Charman is a Fellow and Assistant College Lecturer in English at Clare College, University of Cambridge. Her critical writing has been published in the Guardian, The White Review, Another Gaze and The Stinging Fly among others. As a poet. Charman was shortlisted for The White Review Poet's Prize in 2017 and for the 2019 Ivan Juritz Prize for Creative Experience, and has published four poetry pamphlets, most recently In The Pleasure Dairy.

At this event, Helen will be discussing Mother State with author and academic, Naomi Booth.

Tickets: £5.00

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