“The Event That Was Nothing”: Miscarriage as a Liminal Event

Journal of Social Philosophy 46 (1):9-26 (2015)
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I argue that miscarriage, referred to by poet Susan Stewart as “the event that was nothing,” is a liminal event along four distinct and inter-related dimensions: parenthood, procreation, death, and induced abortion. It is because of this liminality that miscarriage has been both poorly addressed in our society, and enrolled in larger debates over women's reproduction and responsibility for reproduction, both conceptually and legally. If miscarriage’s liminality were better understood, if miscarriage itself were better theorized, perhaps it would not so easily be enrolled in these other debates to the detriment of women who miscarry, and their families. However, its very liminality and the fact that it is enrolled in these debates sheds light on the complicated network of concepts within which miscarriage lies. (OPEN ACCESS AT URL)

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Alison Reiheld
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville


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