Madeleine Zinn

Madeleine Zinn received her BA in Art History from the College of Santa Fe. During this time, she spent a year abroad studying at the University of St Andrews, and completed her credits in New York City through internships at Harper’s Bazaar magazine and the Stephen Haller Gallery in Chelsea. Additionally, she spent a summer interning at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum wherein she created a complete catalogue of images of the artist for the museum’s records.

About Madeleine Zinn’s Thesis Project

Madeleine Zinn

After the Blast: Reframing Motherhood Beyond the Nuclear Family

In recent decades, the nuclear family has broadened its definition to include “non-traditional” structures. Adoption, unwed parents, LGBT, and interracial couples have become increasingly common and accepted as alternative ways in which to construct a family. Motherhood, conversely, has remained stubbornly narrow in definition and ideology. The ways in which motherhood operates as presumably natural or predetermined functions to limit how a woman may perform her role as mother, should she so choose. Within the ideological framework that currently exists in visual representations, mothers may either succeed or fail at their designated maternal post, with very little room in between. This thesis examines the construction of motherhood, media, and contemporary adoption practices in order to unpack the construction or motherhood, and suggest alternatives to traditional modes of parenting and family building.

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