Perceptions of Pregnancy 2021

On 15 September 2021 we hosted our second academic conference, a one-day workshop brining together scholars from a range of disciplines who research perceptions of pregnancy across time periods, regions, cultural and global perspectives.

Workshop programme

The conference will consist of a series of parallel panels running throughout the day (Times presented are GMT). Panels can be booked individually by clicking on the panel title.

Pregnancy Loss

  1. Anna French (University of Liverpool), ‘“A seed without a soul”: reconsidering the history of early modern abortion’   
  2. Paige Donaghy (The University of Queensland), ‘Women’s pregnancy loss in early modern England: a case study in the history of (non)reproduction’   
  3. Jennifer Evans (University of Hertfordshire), ‘Recovering from miscarriage in early modern England’   

Nation and State    

  • Judy Bolger (Trinity College Dublin), ‘Constructing and regulating impoverished motherhood: Institutionalised breastfeeding and the significance of the maternal body’.   
  • Charlotte Kelsted (University of Exeter), ‘Maternity, modernity and multiplicity in early mid-twentieth century Palestine (1920-1948).   
  • Eureka Henrich (University of Hertfordshire), ‘Pregnancy worries in migrant and non-migrant women: a post-war case study from Adelaide, Australia’.   

Negotiating experiences of pregnancy and its environment 

  • Joe Holloway (University of Exeter),Inter-subjectivity, bi-subjectivity and tri-subjectivity: pregnancy and conjoinment in late twentieth and twenty-first century texts’.   
  • Jennifer Hardy (King’s College London), ‘Biological clocks: early modern pregnancy and the experience of reproductive time’.   
  • Ciara Henderson (Trinity College Dublin), ‘Hidden in plain sight: Revealing and concealing stillborn children in the Irish landscape in the nineteenth and twentieth century’.   

——————————-Break 1-1.30pm ————————————————  

Family Limitation ​ 

  • Daniel Grey, (University of Hertfordshire) ‘“The woman … seemed to be in great distress”: infanticide in England and Wales during the First World War’.   
  •  Fionnuala Walsh (University College Dublin), ‘Preventing and coping with unwanted pregnancies in nineteenth and early twentieth century Ireland’.   
  • Cara Delay (College of Charleston), ‘“Caught again”: criminal abortion practitioners in Irish history, 1900-1950’.  

A Positive Outlook: Pregnancy and Birth in the Long Eighteenth century 

  • Chelsea Phillips (Villanova University) Carrying All Before Her: Celebrity Pregnancy and the London Stage, 1689-1800   
  • Sarah Fox (University of Birmingham) Giving Birth in Eighteenth Century England   

Plenary Session  

Cathy McClive (Florida State University), ‘‘The Art of Childbirth. A Seventeenth-Century Midwife’s Epistolary Treatise to Dr Vallant’.   

Re-examining Maternity  

  • Hannah Copley (University of Westminster), ‘A speculum as a hall of mirrors: archival poetics and the re-examination of obstetric and gynaecological histories’.    
  • Michelle Millar Fisher (MFA Boston), ‘ Designing Motherhood: A Practical Paper on What it Took to Get an Exhibition on Design for the Reproductive Arc Greenlit’.
  • Phil Gorey (University College Dublin), ‘Who were the mothers? The Great Famine, poverty and childbirth in Dublin1845 – 1851’.  

Legal Challenges and Advocacy   

  •  Emily Skidmore (Texas Tech University), ‘Rooming-in, breastfeeding and abortion: bodily autonomy and Edith Banfield Jackson’s feminism, 1940-1965   
  •  Zaina Mahmoud (University of Exeter), Surrogacy in Britain and California    
  •  Jennifer Kosmin (Bucknell University), ‘When the fetus becomes a child: reflections from the long eighteenth century’.  

Perceptions & Visual Representations of Mothers & Maternal Bodies 

  • Mary Elizabeth Leighton & Lisa Surridge (University of Victoria, Canada), ‘From “a piece of grossness” to “minute particularity”: Perceptions of Queen Victoria’s First Pregnancy in the Public Press    
  • Kate Naylor (University of Chester), ‘“We’d still know you were pregnant if you covered it up love, no need to point it out”: Black pregnant bodies on social media’.   
  • Nina Holmes (Independent Scholar), ‘The ideal of motherhood in Irish Governmental Health material, 1970s-1980s’.   

Midwives & the Development of Midwifery 

  • Scottie Hale Buehler (University of Texas at Austin), ‘The rhetorical practices of midwifery education in eighteenth century France’.   
  • Claudia Roesch (German Historical Institute, Washington), ‘Homebirth, midwives and expert intervention: Mexican American birthing practices in the 1950s American Southwest’.   
  • Jennifer Rodgers (California Institute of Technology), ‘A public matter: reshaping birth cultures in Postwar Germany’.