Part graphic novel, part feminist and philosophical analysis, The Pregnancy ≠ Childbearing Project explores how pregnancy can be a meaningful and distinct phenomenon from childbirth and does not equate with childbearing or the production of children.
What does pregnancy mean when it does not lead to the birth of a child? Through personal experience via graphic novel and with a corresponding philosophical analysis, The Pregnancy ≠ Childbearing Project narrates and assesses the alternative values possible in miscarriage, a.k.a., the failed pregnancy. Having shared in both experiences – miscarriage and childbirth – solidarity among women must be possible. All pregnancies lead to a kind of ‘emptying out’ – a loss – whether wanted or unwanted, with or without a child. Often, after miscarriage, people say, ‘just try again.’ What then for the work of grief? How do you get over what you cannot get over? The kind of loss in the experience of miscarriage is not socially or culturally recognized as a kind of death. The Pregnancy ≠ Childbearing Project seeks solidarity among women who have known pregnancy independent of the politics and rhetoric of pro-life discourse, and in doing so, holds the pro-life agenda accountable for the silencing of women, arguing that alienates them from each other and their own experiences.
Philosophy has largely ignored the phenomenon of miscarriage, perhaps due to its bodily, conceptual, and political messiness. Scuro’s contribution is welcome precisely because it refuses to sanitize or clean up that mess, opting instead for a compelling approach that includes visual representation, personal narrative, phenomenological analysis, and social commentary. In seeking to disentangle pregnancy from its teleological framework, Scuro puts the bodily experience of pregnancy, situated inevitably and precariously within neoliberalism, front and center. Ann Cahill, Professor of Philosophy, Elon University, USA
Table of Contents
Jennifer Scuro has a B.F.A. in Painting and Sculpture from St. John’s University, a MA in Philosophy from Boston College and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from The New School for Social Research. She is Associate Professor of Philosophy and former Chair of the Philosophy & Religious Studies Department at The College of New Rochelle in New York. She continues to work on her art while teaching undergraduate courses in global and applied Ethics, Feminist Theory, and Environmental Studies. She wrote the final chapter, “Theory Can Heal,” for the anthology Why Race and Gender Still Matter (Yount et al., Pickering & Chatto, 2014). Her most recent research is in Disability Studies and her book Addressing Ableism: Philosophical Meditations through Disability Studies is forthcoming with Lexington Press