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Center for the Humanities | Comics, Narrative, & the Folded Timescapes of Maternal Care

April 25, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

“In March 2020, at the epicenter of a global pandemic, I suddenly found myself responsible for remote schooling my disabled son. To stave off madness, I started to write and draw a graphic memoir about our confinement. This new project intersected in unexpected ways with my writing on mothering and the temporalities of care. This talk will present an account of maternal care, and the elaborate “folds” of time it requires when the future is in doubt, that is grounded in disability, gender, and critical race studies. It will then describe how I have used the affordances of comics to explore that theoretical frame, finding in them a form to represent the wadded-up timescapes of mothering and interdependencies of parent and child, as well as enabling my son with the capacity for self-representation he did not have in words alone.”

Rachel Adams is professor of English at Columbia University. Her most recent book is Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, and Discovery, published by Yale University Press in 2013 and winner of the 2014 Delta Kappa Gamma Educators’ Award.  Her other books include Sideshow U.S.A.: Freaks and the American Cultural Imagination and the co-edited Keywords for Disability Studies. In addition to many academic articles, she has also written for The New York Times, Washington Post, Salon, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the Times of London. In 2010 she was the recipient of the Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award and won a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2019-2020.


April 25, 2022
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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6191 Helen C. White Hall
600 N. Park St.
Madison, WI 53706 United States
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