Maternity in the Post-Apocalypse
Novelistic Re-visions of Dystopian Motherhood
Renae L. Mitchell
Maternity in the Post-Apocalypse: Novelistic Revisions of Dystopian Motherhood deconstructs the ways in which women novelists have reconceived the post-apocalyptic genre in recent decades through narratives centered on heroic maternal characters. These writers have placed midwives, pregnant women, and mothers at the forefront of their novels, transforming them from the hapless victims of male oppressors to protagonists who are instrumental in transforming the post-apocalyptic social landscape from one that attempts to reconstruct a patriarchal past to one that safeguards, validates, and even lauds maternity as a form of empowerment. In a novelistic future devastated landscape in which human civilizations are shattered and waver at the brink of extinction, women who embody facets of maternity are taking the reins of rebuilding human societies by overturning patriarchal assumptions of femininity, reclaiming intersectional autonomy, and (re)visioning the possibilities for a declining anthropocene.