Introduction: Maternal action as exchange, practice, and solidarity

Lena Šimić, Emily Underwood-Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this extended introduction, Šimić and Underwood-Lee explore the potential of a maternal sensibility to move us towards maternal action that is explicitly political, ethical, and in relation to our others. Maternal action is also intricately linked with “mothering” and “performance”. The three terms are linked to activism and invoke a sense of doing – maternal action goes beyond the prescribed normative maternal identity to engage in a kind of struggle for a different, self-defining position which will remain open to the plurality of others. The chapter argues for a maternal performance approach that is rooted in exchange, practice, solidarity and plurality. The author's claim the maternal as enabling us to build on imagined, idealised, and actualised pasts and futures, while also located in the lived, embodied, and daily. Through the invocation of maternal action, mothers are positioned as active agents, as performers, in the world, beyond the intimate domestic sphere. This introduction locates the chapters in this book within the wider scholarship of the maternal action and activism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMothering Performance
Subtitle of host publicationMaternal Action
EditorsLena Simic, Emily Underwood-Lee
PublisherRoutledge: Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)97810003231073
ISBN (Print)9781032138046
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2022


  • maternal action


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