Author Information

Dorothy Lander

Abstract

Smith-Rosenberg’s (1984) term, “public mothers,” characterizes independent women reformers (typically not birth mothers), and shapes this study of three educatoractivists in Canadian social movements—Lotta Hitschmanova, Letitia Youmans, and Mary Arnold. Using historical/biographical inquiry as my methodology, I elaborate on the close relationships of these public mothers, often with a particular “great friend,” to explicate Eros as a life force in all of its embodied, sensory, and learning “elements, not only sexual desire” (Estola, 2003, p. 2). I conceptualize Eros in the quantum language of the strange attractor, that is, as a learning site around which energy clusters.

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Jul 6th, 9:00 AM

Complicating Public Mothers with Private Others: Eros as the Strange Attractor of Social Action

Smith-Rosenberg’s (1984) term, “public mothers,” characterizes independent women reformers (typically not birth mothers), and shapes this study of three educatoractivists in Canadian social movements—Lotta Hitschmanova, Letitia Youmans, and Mary Arnold. Using historical/biographical inquiry as my methodology, I elaborate on the close relationships of these public mothers, often with a particular “great friend,” to explicate Eros as a life force in all of its embodied, sensory, and learning “elements, not only sexual desire” (Estola, 2003, p. 2). I conceptualize Eros in the quantum language of the strange attractor, that is, as a learning site around which energy clusters.