Accepted Paper:

"iIm glad they are an option for other people": arts in the imagined reproductive future of post-graduate students  


Kelsey Marr (University of Saskatchewan)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines how graduate students draw on discourses of risk and idealized adoption to enact ARTs as “an option for other people.” This paper continues a discussion on the fluid cultural spaces found at the intersections of ARTs and the reproductive futures of assumably fertile individuals.

Paper long abstract:

Over the past thirty-odd years, developing trends of delayed primiparity, longterm post-secondary education, and the proliferation of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) have been teologically correlated within academic and scholarly work. In the summer for 2015, I worked with post-graduate students at the University of Saskatchewan, examining the relationships among these trends and the extent to which they are facets of students imagined reproductive futures. In this paper, I examine how the post-graduate students with whom I worked framed, understood, and enacted ARTs, and by association, age-related infertility.

By drawing on conceptions of risk, the post-graduate students with whom I worked negotiate enactments of assisted reproductive technologies in which the fluidity of these technologies, and their noted destabilization of kinship, are (re)stabilized through the normalization of ARTs as an option "for other people." Furthermore, the students with whom I worked imagine reproductive futures which focus on their assumed future fertility, as well as discourses idealizing adoption. In doings so, they enact ARTs as "last options" in pursuing parenthood. By examining the imagined reproductive futures of post-graduate students, and the extent to which age-related infertility and it's treatment factor into those futures, we can access the fluid cultural spaces in which understandings and enactments of ARTs are rooted not just in individuals own personal experiences, but also in the cultural facets upon which we normalize and stabilize our reproduction, and ourselves.

Panel MB-MT04
Flexible reproduction: on the moving articulations of reproduction, technology and culture