Stories that Memorabilia Tell in Mother–Daughter Exchanges
This chapter focuses on memorabilia that pass among mothers and daughters. Luce Irigaray, a French psychoanalyst, suggests that small handmade objects be interposed between mothers and daughters to create a personal spatial identity. This elusive feminine space was uncovered in this study when women and girls were asked about objects and material items that had been handed down to them through the maternal line. Anne, the co-author, has a wooden carving from Oberammergau, Germany of St. Anne and her daughter Mary that had passed through her maternal line. It is a symbol, a sign of her female forebears creating a spiritual and material space for the mother–daughter relationship. By foregrounding stories about memorabilia, it is suggested that the multiple dimensions of women’s lives come into view. Such stories affirm female subjectivity within the boundaries of social, cultural, familial and religious discourses. In this study, these objects served as mnemonic devices for generating and provoking mother–daughter stories. This chapter unpacks some of the meanings given to these memorabilia.
Photos are reprinted with the permission of the author, Anne Keary.
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