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Hannah Zeavin – Hot and Cool Mothers
April 13, 2022 @ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm | Virtual and In Person
This event has been cancelled due to illness and will be rescheduled for Fall 2022. “Hot and Cool Mothers” moves toward a media theory of mothering and parental “fitness.” The article begins with an investigation into midcentury pediatric psychological studies on Bad Mothers and their impacts on their children. The most famous, if not persistent, of these diagnoses is that of the so-called refrigerator mother. The refrigerator mother is not the only bad model of maternality that midcentury psychiatry discovered, however; overstimulating mothers, called in this study “hot mothers,” were identified as equally problematic. From the mid-1940s until the 1960s and beyond, class, race, and maternal function were linked in metaphors of temperature. Whereas autism and autistic states have been extensively elaborated in their relationship to digital media, this article attends to attributed maternal causes of “emotionally disturbed,” queer, and neurodivergent children. The author argues that these newly codified diagnoses were inseparable from midcentury conceptions of stimulation, mediation, domesticity, and race, including Marshall McLuhan’s theory of hot and cool media, as well as maternal absence and (over)presence, echoes of which continue in the present in terms like “helicopter parent.”
The Center for Cultural Studies hosts a weekly Wednesday colloquium featuring work by faculty and visitors. We gather at 12:00 PM, with presentations beginning at 12:15 PM.
For Spring 2022, the colloquium will take a hybrid format, with the option of in-person or virtual attendance. Attendees have the option to attend in person in Humanities 210 or to watch the presentation on zoom. To attend remotely via zoom, please RSVP in advance, and you will receive a zoom link on the morning of the colloquium. In most cases, speakers will appear remotely so that they will not have to present wearing a mask. To RSVP for the full Spring colloquium series, please use this form. If you have any questions about the colloquium, please contact Piper Milton (email@example.com).
Staff assistance is provided by The Humanities Institute.