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Out of Time: Maternal time and disability


Rachel Robertson

About Rachel

Rachel Robertson is a Lecturer in Professional Writing and Publishing at Curtin University. Her memoir, Reaching One Thousand (Black Inc 2012), was shortlisted for the 2013 Australian National Biography Award. Her research interests include life writing, Australian literature, maternal studies, feminist theory, ethics and disability studies. Her work has been published in WesterlyLife Writing, Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, and Axon: Creative Explorations. Her recent scholarly publications include 'Crossing Borders: Cross-cultural translation in parental autism memoirs' in Literature as Translation/Translation as Literature, edited by J Gourley and C Conti (Cambridge Scholarly Publications, 2014) and 'Lost and Found: Intimacy and distance in three motherhood memoirs' in Motherhood Memoirs: Mothers Creating/Writing Lives, edited by Nicole Willey and Justine Dymond (Demeter Press, 2013).

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Starting from a maternal experience of temporal dissonance, this article takes a feminist disability studies approach to exploring disabled maternal temporality. After establishing how notions of time are central to discourses about disability and summarising some key discussions on women's time and caring, I use Lisa Baraitser's work on interrupted time and mothering to develop a parallel between the way both maternal and disabled subjectivities problematise temporality. My discussion then draws on Alison Kafer's and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson's discussions about futurity to explore the relationship between futurity, maternal subjectivity and disability, arguing for the ethical value of the maternal experience.

How to Cite: Robertson, R., 2015. Out of Time: Maternal time and disability. Studies in the Maternal, 7(1), pp.1–13. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 2015.
Peer Reviewed


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