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.

Book Prize-Fundacion Uriach 1838

Wishing to promote the study of the History of the Health Sciences the Uriach Foundation has instituted an annual prize for the best unpublished monograph in the History of Medicine.

Deadline for Submission: 1st of November, 2016

En su deseo de  impulsar los  estudios sobre el pasado de las Ciencias  de la Salud, la Fundación Uriach 1838 tiene instituido un premio anual de ámbito internacional, el cual será  adjudicado al mejor trabajo que, a juicio  de  un  jurado designado al  efecto,  trate  de  un tema sobre Historia y Ciencias de la Salud.

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Childbirth and Spirituality in Late Modern to Contemporary Society

Lexington Books will explore the intersection of religion/spirituality with childbirth and midwifery in a new edited volume. For this purposes it is holding a call for publications due the 10th of May, 2016.
In the Late Modern period (1800 to the present day) in large parts of the world, midwives were overshadowed and undermined by the growing professionalism of medicine, hospitalization and ultimately the medicalization of the birthing process itself. Due to these changes the meaning of childbirth has shifted, often becoming more private and more medical. This volume will examine the way in which spirituality has either been brought back to childbirth, often through alternative spiritualities, or has remained in certain traditions, often in conflict with prevailing scientific attitudes.

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Pregnancy at Work

“Pregnancy at Work” wants to understand what challenges do working women face at their jobs during their pregnancy, and once do they return to work.
To do so we have an online questionnaire addressed to working mothers-to-be and working mothers being pregnant or not at the present moment.
The online questionnaire is built in a way that the participant is guided to the scenario that best fits into her reality, and includes a Consent form where the participant is informed about the research, her rights and what is expected of her participation. The information collected will help us to define a set of strategies, guidelines and services to help corporates embrace pregnancy as a part of work-life, and not as a roadblock to productivity and to work career.
Thanks for your interest and participation!!
Access the Consent form and Online Questionnaire:

Becoming a Mother: The Beginning

Are you becoming a new mother? Are you in your third trimester of pregnancy? Researchers at the University of East Anglia are interested in how feelings and appraisals of your child-to-be during pregnancy are related to other significant relationships in your life.  Participation involves taking a short (less than 30 minutes) survey online.  Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jessica Brennan, PhD Researcher at or +44 (0)7481 961924.