Mommy. Mother. Mama. Ma!

At one point or another, we call out to some mother—either our own or maybe even someone else’s. Often, the voice answers; other times, nothing but silence permeates the space. Missing mommies in life and literature are nothing new, but the imprint, whether stark or nearly invisible, runs deeply foundational, both psychologically and culturally. American society stresses the importance of the mother and the maternal, while simultaneously reinforcing the invisibility of maternal practice and space; no one has to go far to run into a vitriolic discussion about public breast feeding. In this multi-session seminar workshop, we examine the role of the missing or absent mother in literature. Who are these women? What is their imprint? How do they materialize while they are not embodied? Ultimately, what does all of this say about the time in which each work was written, as well as our own time? We’ll be reading a variety of titles including, Proof by David Auburn, the graphic novel; A Year without Mom by Dasha Tolstikova; The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison; and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. We’ll delve into discussion and analysis, as well as some writing of our own, inspired by these various maternal muses. 


Four 2 1/2 hour sessions.

Thursday evenings 6:30p-9 beginning March 1st through March 29th.

*Note: there will be no class March 22nd.


4 sessions :: $160

Course taught by Christine Heckman.

Image from Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet. Lady Capulet. 

About this teaching artist:

Christine Heckman teaches speech and theatre at Dominican University, where she has been an adjunct instructor for 10 years. Additionally, Chris worked as a professional actress in the Chicago area for over 15 years before taking some time off to raise her children. She was an ensemble member of Stage Left Theatre, where she had the opportunity to collaborate with playwrights developing new work. Christine earned a BFA in theatre from Northern Illinois University, an MFA in theatre performance from Penn State, and an MA in English Literature from Northeastern Illinois University. Her MA thesis explores a feminist gaze within the framework of the graphic novel space. Her essay "Roadside 'Vigil': Cannibalism, Fossil Fuels, and the American Dream," appears in the anthology, "We're All Infected": Essays on AMCs "The Walking Dead."

To register for Mommy. Mother. Mama. Ma! please email or call us. Space is limited. 

The Republic of Letters NFP

RoL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

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Geneva, Illinois 60134