Controlling the Narrative: Beyoncé’s Pregnancy Photoshoot, Part 2

The Perceptions of Pregnancy blog, like the Researchers’ Network, aims to reach beyond boundaries and borders, and to facilitate an international and interdisciplinary conversation on pregnancy and its associated bodily and emotional experiences from the earliest times to the present day. This weeks post is part two of Chelsea Phillips’ conversation about Beyonce’s recent pregnancy photo shoot.

On 1 February 2017, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter announced that she was pregnant with twins on Instagram, sparking a social media frenzy. The initial image was quickly revealed to be part of a photo shoot by the artist Awol Erizku. In early April, I sat down with a group of friends and colleagues to discuss the shoot: art historian Tim McCall, performer and playwright James Ijames, and pop culture maven Ashley Leamon joined me.

What follows is Part Two of that conversation. You can read Part One here.

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Concealing and Revealing: Beyoncé’s Pregnancy Photo Shoot, Part One

The Perceptions of Pregnancy blog, like the Researchers’ Network, aims to reach beyond boundaries and borders, and to facilitate an international and interdisciplinary conversation on pregnancy and its associated bodily and emotional experiences from the earliest times to the present day. In today’s post Chelsea Phillips writes about Beyonce’s recent pregnancy photo shoot.

On 1 February 2017, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter announced that she was pregnant with twins on Instagram, sparking a social media frenzy. The initial image, laden with symbolism, was quickly revealed to be part of a larger, fully-produced pregnancy photo shoot by the artist Awol Erizku. In early April, I sat down with a group of friends and colleagues to discuss the shoot. The conversation ranged from its historical and contemporary artistic influences, to Beyoncé’s performance of pregnancy, identity, race, and culture; what follows is a partial transcript of that conversation.

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Fighting Fertility: Depo-Provera, South Africa, and the British Anti-Apartheid Movement.

The Perceptions of Pregnancy blog, like the Researchers’ Network, aims to reach beyond boundaries and borders, and to facilitate an international and interdisciplinary conversation on pregnancy and its associated bodily and emotional experiences from the medieval to the modern. Today’s post from Kate Law, Senior Lecturer in History, University of Chichester, explores the work done by the British Anti-Apartheid Movement against the use of Depo-Provera in South Africa.

In September 2013, I spent a week in Rhodes House Library, at the University of Oxford. Although I should have been finishing off research for another project, I found myself putting in an archival request to see the materials marked “Files on women’s issues, 1979-1993”, from the papers of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM). 21 files appeared.

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Appearance May Be Deceiving: Pregnancy in Tamora Pierce’s Daughter of the Lioness Duology

 

In ‘realistic’ young adult (YA) literature, pregnancy is typically treated with disdain. Thus, when narrations of pregnancy do appear in YA literature, they typically portray pregnancy, and subsequent parenthood, as problematic. This refusal to engage pregnancy as anything more than a problem offers a heightened instance of wider discourses in this genre that aim to maintain conservation, hegemonic ideas; to limit adolescent girls’ control over their bodies by telling them that they shouldn’t display sexuality or “sleep around”. This limiting of the body’s sexuality is embedded in contemporary Western culture’s dominant image of acceptable girlhood: the girl is young, fit (both sense of the word) and certainly not pregnant.

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Call for Papers: Cultural Representations of Breastfeeding

Date: June 1, 2016
Location: Indiana, United States
Subject Fields: Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Literature, Popular Culture Studies, Women’s & Gender History / Studies
The purpose of this collection is to investigate how representations of breastfeeding in literature, film, the visual arts, popular culture, and online engage with debates surrounding how infants should be fed through a lens of feminist breastfeeding advocacy.