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Womb Work

Womb-Centered Health Narratives as Reparative Praxis in Black Women’s Fiction

Belinda Monique Waller-Peterson

Black women writers and scholars have been engaged in the process of repairing and restoring history especially as it documents the experiences of Black women in America. They restore the historical record by centering women and women’s stories in their poetry and fiction. These stores repair decades, if not centuries, of damage and erasure throughout American literary history. “Womb work” is one way of framing these reparative and restorative writing processes that includes both the writers of these works and the audiences/readers that engage the work. Womb Work argues that Black women’s stories are essential to advancing a more comprehensive and critical understanding of American literary history. “Womb work” requires an interdisciplinary approach to Black women’s literature through the lenses of the medical/health humanities.

About the Author

Dr. Belinda Waller-Peterson is Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion at Moravian University and an Associate Professor of English. She teaches courses in African American literature and culture and the Health Humanities. She specializes in women’s health issues, maternity and illness narratives. She is also a licensed Registered Nurse in the state of Pennsylvania. Her nursing experience and English literature background allow her to explore multiple intersecting areas of study including the health humanities, women, gender, and sexuality, and Africana studies. She is currently Lead Editor on The Handbook of African American Literature in the Twenty-First Century book project.


Published: July 2024


ISBN: 978-1-63804-064-4


African American Literature


African American Literature