Jewish Motherhood/UnMotherhood



Steinberg, Injection, Oil on Canvas, 6’ x 7’, 2014

Jewish Motherhood/UnMotherhood 
Sarah Lightman  and Emily Steinberg 
Mamsie Studies in the Maternal
Cambridge, United Kimgdom

Jewish Motherhood/Unmotherhood is an autobiographical, ongoing, multi-media project by artists Sarah Lightman and Emily Steinberg. Jewish Motherhood/Unmotherhood includes paintings, drawings, animated films and comics, and explores the intense sociocultural pressures within the Jewish community surrounding motherhood. Motherhood is one of the central tenets of Jewish life for women. But what if your experience of being a mother is not meaningful or enjoyable? What if you can’t/won’t have children? A culture of expectation, shame and secrecy surround women on all sides of the Jewish motherhood/unmotherhood spectrum. This project explores Sarah’s experiences of having, and Emily’s experience of not having, children.

Studies in the Maternal is an international, peer-reviewed, scholarly online journal. It aims to provide a forum for contemporary critical debates on the maternal understood as lived experience, social location, political and scientific practice, economic and ethical challenge, a theoretical question, and a structural dimension in human relations, politics and ethics.

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