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Space pregnancies : putting the other in the mother


  • Lina Johansson

Summary, in English

Science fiction and feminist theory have a lot in common. They are both grounded in contemporary times, but envisions another. This essay looks at how women writers have used science fiction to talk about central themes in feminism, namely motherhood and pregnancy. These two are interesting because they are experiences based in the cis-female body. With the assumption that these experiences are part of the Othering process of women in a patriarchal society, how these are portrayed/reflected in science fiction texts become interesting.
The essay analyses the progress of the view of motherhood and pregnancy in four novels; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (originally published 1818), Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland (originally published 1915), Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time (originally published 1976) and Octavia E. Butler’s Lilith’s Brood (originally published 1987-1989). The historical aspect follows the progression of the feminist movement, namely the suffragist, the second wave feminism of the 70’s and the third wave feminism of the 90’s.
How these books have portrayed motherhood and pregnancy, and how science fiction elements are used, strongly follows the development of the feminist progress.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • mother
  • pregnant body
  • pregnancy
  • feminism
  • science fiction
  • motherhood
  • other
  • otherness


  • Ellen Turner