New book explores the role of maternal performance in feminism

Maternal Performance book-Emily.jpg

As part of National Storytelling Week (30 January – 6 February), Dr Emily Underwood-Lee, Associate Professor in Performance Studies at the University of South Wales, is celebrating the publication of her new co-authored book on maternal performance, with a launch event later this month.

Maternal Performance: Feminist Relations explores the fields of performance, feminism, maternal studies and ethics, loosely following the life course with chapters on maternal loss, pregnancy, birth, aftermath, maintenance, generations and futures.

Dr Underwood-Lee co-wrote the book with Lena Šimić, a Reader in Drama at Edge Hill University, near Liverpool. They will host the online book launch on Tuesday 15 February from 7pm, and will be joined by Professor Elaine Aston, series editor of Contemporary Performance InterActions at Palgrave Macmillan, and four artists whose work is featured in the book – Hannah Ballou, Catriona James, Lynn Lu and Nanna Lysholt Hansen.

The book states that “Motherhood is lived in the moment and in all of time. Maternal performance takes the largely hidden, private and domestic work of mothering and makes it worthy of consideration and contemplation within the public sphere.”

Dr Underwood-Lee added: “Performance and the maternal have an affinity as both are lived through the body of the mother/artist, are played out in real time, and are concerned with creating ethical relationships with an other – be that other the child, the theatrical audience, or our wider communities.”

For more information on the book launch, and to book a space, go to: Maternal Performance: Feminist Relations Book Launch Tickets, Tue 15 Feb 2022 at 19:00 | Eventbrite.

There is a special offer of 20% off a printed copy of Maternal Performance: Feminist Relations which is valid from 10 February until 10 March, using the code PAt5ID7y6k1GqS at

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