Mad, Bad, and Dangerous: The Politics of Reproduction in the Age of Neoliberalism

CALL FOR PAPERS (Originally posted on H-Net)

Seeking essays for an edited collection entitled

Mad, Bad, and Dangerous: The Politics of Reproduction in the Age of Neoliberalism

Editors: Modhumita Roy and Mary Thompson

Deadline for Abstracts: August 1, 2016


“[I]t is crucial to consider the degree to which one woman’s possession of reproductive choice may actually depend on or deepen another woman’s reproductive vulnerability.”

-Rickie Solinger, Beggers and Choosers (2001)

The first two decades of the 21st century have witnessed intensified interest in definitions and understandings of reproduction in the U.S. and around the world.  Less discussed, however, have been those narratives that problematize the normalized scripts of reproductive desire, labor, and choice-making to reveal the division of labor that separates those who desire and those who are instrumental in satisfying such desires.

This book uniquely brings together abortion, adoption, and surrogacy as instances/sites of reproductive politics that need to be considered as a whole. We focus on these issues because they reflect new ways of constructing family and changing definitions of motherhood in an era of expanding reproductive freedoms and choices that are available, particularly to women. And yet, even as these sites (egg donation, surrogacy, or adoption, to name a few) reflect some women’s amplified options, they also indicate other women’s unvoiced desperation and coercion. Considering, as Rickie Solinger has done, the biopolitics of reproductive choice in the 21st century, much feminist work remains to be done before reproductive justice is achieved. Significantly, persistent discourses of bio-essentialism and pronatalism remain unchallenged in the constructions of gender, motherhood, and the demand for genetically related off-spring. Moreover, the era of neoliberalism—with its emphasis on privatization, minimal government intervention, and a reduction of the State’s responsibility for social welfare and services—has produced an illusion of amplified “choice” for those privileged women who can afford to claim normalized motherhood; meanwhile, these claims mask and contribute to the vulnerability of other women.  Narratives of “bad mothers” or women who are “bad choice makers” (voluntarily childless, seeking or failing to seek abortion, surrendering or failing to surrender children, etc.) obscure the precarious and dangerously limited range of “choices” available to some women. Accounts of the dangers faced by women in the pursuit of motherhood or reproductive freedom (egg donations, surrogacy, multiple embryo implantations, DIY abortions) are similarly suppressed.

This collection aims to address the urgent need for feminist analyses of reproduction that looks carefully at scientific possibilities, social practices, and cultural representations. We invite essays that draw on interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies to analyze the complex politics of reproduction globally. Topics may include but are not limited to:

* surrogacy (commercial; altruistic; gestational)

* abortion (challenges to “good” abortion scripts; bans on abortions for sex, race, and disability; DIY abortions)

* politics of adoption (domestic; international; open; closed)

* infertility and IVF (egg donation and egg freezing)

* reproductive tourism

* pronatalism and the state

* politics of nonreproduction

* reproduction and population discourse

* the politics of “choice” and new reproductive technologies

* age and the politics of reproduction

* the law and reproduction

* assisted reproduction (womb transplants; orphan embryos; triplings and twiblings)

* the baby as commodity

* moral regulation of pregnancy and parenting

* structures of feeling—making babies, making families

* desires for genetically related children; baby hunger

* queer reproduction

* alternative families and “making kin”

* pro-choice politics vs. reproductive justice

Submission Guidelines

Abstracts/proposals (350-500 words) with a short biography due: August 1, 2016. Acceptances made by September 1, 2016. Completed manuscripts (6,000-8,000 words) double-spaced with references in MLA format) are due: December 1, 2016.

Please send inquiries and abstracts to the editors:

Modhumita Roy or Mary Thompson and

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Mothers, Motherhood, and Mothering in Popular Culture

WHO: Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA)
WHERE: Albuquerque, New Mexico
WHEN: 10-13 February 2016
DEADLINE: 1 November 2015

Proposals are now being accepted for the conference’s newly established subject area, Mothers, Motherhood, and Mothering in Popular Culture.

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Medicine in its Place: Situating Medicine in Historical Contexts

Society for the Social History of Medicine Conference 2016: Medicine in its place

The Society for the Social History of Medicine hosts a major, biennial, international, and interdisciplinary conference. In 2016 it will explore the theme of place. The committee conceives ‘place’ in its broadest sense – from political, spatial, and cultural spaces, to the narrow confines of a patient’s hospital bed. The biennial conference is not exclusive in terms of its theme, and reflects the diversity of the discipline of the social history of medicine.

When: 7 – 10 July 2016
University of Kent, Canterbury, England, United Kingdom

Deadline: 1st February 2016

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Abortion and Reproductive Justice- The Unfinished Revolution II

The conference seeks to build on inter-disciplinary learning about access to abortion, activism and abortion politics by posing the question “how does abortion sit within the reproductive justice framework?”

Where: Ulster University, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Deadline: 1st. November 2015

Conference dates: 2-3rd June 2016

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CFP: Project Afterbirth


Most of us dare not question our pregnancy, birth or early parenthood experience for fear of seeming ungrateful, difficult or concerned with ourselves when we should be focused on our children. Most of us simply try to get on with our new lives as best we can, as soon as we can, without acknowledging the long-term impact this short but intense period is likely to have on our sense of self and our relationship with our partners and children.

Yet, some of us are artists as well as parents, sensing the urgency and possessing the skills to commit deep and complex feelings such as those originating from new parenthood to paper, paint, sculpture, poetry, film or other media, thereby rising to the challenge of translating precisely those things often left unsaid into the universal language of art and opening up the crucial debates that eventually break down barriers.

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Mothers and Daughters

Demeter Press

is seeking submissions for an edited collection entitled

Mothers and Daughters

Editors: Dannabang Kuwabong,

Janet MacLennan, and Dorsía Smith Silva

Deadline for Abstracts: April 30, 2015

This anthology will explore the multifaceted connections between mothers and daughters. We welcome submissions that analyze new fields of inquiry in this area, examining discourses about mothers and daughters through academic writing, narrative essays, and creative work. We specifically encourage offerings that address the identity and experiences of mothers and daughters from within an interdisciplinary framework, which includes cultural, biological, socio-political, relational and historical perspectives. Therefore the uniqueness of this collection revolves around a fluidity in blending not just work from across academic disciplines, but also the forms in which this work is presented: academic inquiry and critique as well as creative and narrative explorations.

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