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    Absent Mothers: a folkloric reading of the exclusionary practices of writing IR's canonical history

    Starnes, Kathryn (2023) Absent Mothers: a folkloric reading of the exclusionary practices of writing IR's canonical history. Global Studies Quarterly, 3 (1). ksad003. ISSN 2634-3797

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    Abstract

    Women’s exclusion from the IR canon has been widely documented and many have undertaken to systematically address these exclusions. However, consideration of how women’s exclusion is written into canonical texts is less well explored. This paper draws on folkloric approaches to understanding canon constitution to perform a close reading of disciplinary history texts. This paper considers these texts in parallel to Cinderella stories to understand the absence of ‘founding mothers’ and illuminate how women’s exclusion has been written into the canon as a natural absence. This paper builds on the growing literature about women’s exclusion to document the specific ways in which how we write can reiterate exclusions within the canon. This is relevant to understanding these historical practices of exclusion, and to reconsidering how we write the contemporary IR canon.

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