Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.749312
Title: Mother, home, and mammy : motherhood, race, and power in the antebellum South
Author: Knight, R. J.
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 27 Nov 2022
Access from Institution:
Abstract:
This thesis explores the relationality of enslaved and slaveholding women’s mothering in the antebellum south. The apparent commonalities of mothering are often understood to have fostered connections and bonds between slaveholding and enslaved women: this study posits an alternative interpretation, which situates motherhood at the very centre of power relations between women. Approaching enslaved women’s ‘maternal exploitation’ as dually structural and social, the thesis examines both the extent to which enslavement and slaveholding influenced the conditions of mothering, the treatment of mothers, and their opportunities to mother; and the role of motherhood in women’s relationships. Slaveholding women, this thesis argues, were central to enslaved women’s maternal exploitation. This is established through an examination of the extensive ‘interventions’ that slaveholding women made into enslaved women’s mothering: both on the basis of their own motherhoods and on the basis of enslaved women’s motherhoods, casual and routinised, from conception long into the life of a child. In particular, critical analysis of these interventions reveals slaveholding women’s labour-centred approach to enslaved women’s mothering: motherhood was a site of the production of and interruption to slave labour, a commodity, and a transferrable form of mother-work. This thesis thus situates mothering in broader patterns within both enslaved and slaveholding women’s relationships and the dynamics of gendered labour in slaveholding households. A case-study into infant-feeding provides an in-depth analysis of the extent of the inequalities women faced as mothers and the interrelationships of their privileges and disadvantages. Analysing the nature, experiences, and significance of the often overlooked practice of enslaved wet-nursing through examination of the practice both within slaveholdings and through the informal and formal marketplaces, this thesis provides new insights into the nature of enslaved women’s exploitation, their relationships with female slaveholders, and the roles of white women in slavery.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.749312  DOI: Not available
Share: