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

Modhumita.Roy@tufts.edu and thompsmx@jmu.edu

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Masculinity(/ies) – Femininity(/ies) in the Middle Ages

WHAT: Call for Papers Masculinity(/ies) – Femininity(/ies) in the Middle Ages Workshop
WHEN: 2nd – 3rd March 2016
WHERE: German Historical Institute Paris
DEADLINE: 4th January 2016

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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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Healing the body and soul from the middle ages to the modern day, London, July 2016

RELIGION AND MEDICINE:

HEALING THE BODY AND SOUL FROM THE MIDDLE AGES TO THE MODERN DAY

Birkbeck, University of London, 15-16 July 2016

Convenors: Katherine Harvey, John Henderson and Carmen Mangion

Deadline for submitting abstracts: 30 October 2015

Download the call for papers here.

In the contemporary Western world, religion and medicine are increasingly separated, but through much of history they have been closely interrelated. This relationship has been characterised by some conflict, but also by a great deal of cooperation. Religious perspectives have informed both the understanding of and approaches to health and sickness, whilst religious personnel have frequently been at the forefront of medical provision. Religious organisations were, moreover, often at the heart of the response to medical emergencies, and provided key healing environments, such as hospitals and pilgrimage sites.      Continue reading