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A critical step to the side: Performing the loss of the mother

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date07/2007
JournalTheatre Research International
Journal number2
Number of pages13
Original languageEnglish


This essay sets out to ask in what ways it might be critically productive to come back to the maternal as a subject for feminism. Drawing on Eve Sedgwick's desire to 'loosen' the antiessentialist drive to get 'beyond' gender, and her consideration in this respect of a non-dualistic idea of 'beside', I locate my analysis in three performances, examined 'beside' each other. Each of these performances is a solo show: Anna Yen's Chinese Take Away (1997), SuAndi's The Story of M (1994) and Kazuko Hohki's Toothless (1998). Moreover, each solo is located in different inter-national, maternal geographies: Asian/Australian (Yen), black British (SuAndi) and Japanese/British (Hohki), and each performs the loss of the mother by the daughter. Working also with Judith Butler's proposal that grief and loss afford a political, transformative means of 'becoming undone', I 'read' these three international geographies of the maternal side by side as different from each other, but all connected to the critical project of rethinking the maternal.

Bibliographic note

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=TRI The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Theatre Research International, 32 (2), pp 130-142 2007, © 2007 Cambridge University Press.