The book Coming to Life: Philosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Mothering, edited by UNF professor Dr. LaChance Adams, features a chapter by Dr. Florentien Verhage titled “The Vision of Artist/Mother: The Strange Creativity of Painting & Pregnancy.”
Verhage ties Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological metaphor of birth as “the creative vision” to a literal understanding of pregnancy and birth as creative acts. She traces the idea of inspiration to its root word, respiration, and upends the tired view of pregnancy as passive. Contending that it is an active subjective experience, Verhage reclaims Simone de Beauvoir’s idea of “strange creativity” in a positive light.
In addition to Verhage’s chapter, we discuss Jennifer Nash’s article, which delves into the racialization of maternal subjectivity through examples of mainstream icons of black motherhood, Serena Williams and Beyoncé.