Leaving Mother Behind: On the Production and Replacement of the Maternal in Space

Part of the Schriftenreihe der Internationalen Frauenuniversität »Technik und Kultur« book series (SIFU, volume 6)


Elsewhere I have addressed phantasms of the womb as the “first home” or of architectonic “attempts to reestablish” the situation of the uterus. Such phantasms surface in a variety of discourses, for example, as a desire to return, supposedly, to the “first dwelling” or as a conviction that it is necessary to overcome the “maternal” (Härtel, 1999). Such formulations that refer to the provenance or “origin” of the subject have played a central role in “uncanny” constructions of the maternal in Western culture1. Starting from a retrospective assumption of an identity with the body, construed as maternal, in a deferred action the body becomes “the privileged site of phantasms” (Widmer, 1990, p. 86) in the wake of experiences of “loss” — for example, as a phantasmatic site of spatial transactions to be “reestablished” or “overcome.”These phantasmatic references must be analyzed in order to reveal the attributions inherent in them, often unconsciously so, and make it possible to displace them.


Sexual Character Maternal Body Psychoanalytic Theory Mother Earth Privileged Site 
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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2002

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