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Doing and undoing reproduction [Medical Anthropology Europe [MAE] 
Anika König (Freie Universität Berlin)
Stefan Reinsch (Brandenburg Medical School - Theodor Fontane)
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Short Abstract:

This panel addresses the challenges of doing and undoing reproduction with a particular focus on technologies that aim at facilitating and/or preventing the birth of children. We invite papers that deal with the individual and socio-political aspects of these technologies and their intersections.

Long Abstract:

Human reproduction ensures the existence of humanity on our planet while at the same time threatening humanity’s very existence through overpopulation and the ever-increasing need for natural resources. Similarly, the continuous improvement of technological means to facilitate the birth of children (e.g., fertility preservation, assisted reproductive technologies) cannot be separated from technologies that aim at preventing births (e.g., contraception, sterilization, selective technologies such as preimplantation or prenatal testing, abortion).

Moreover, anthropologists and other social scientists have convincingly shown that reproduction is never just an individual decision but always embedded in social, cultural, and political contexts. This includes the facilitation versus prevention of reproduction, ranging from the stratification of reproduction (Colen 1995) to selective reproductive technologies (Gammeltoft and Wahlberg 2014), from reproductive justice (Silver 2020) to the birth strike movement (McMullen and Dow 2022), from individual reproductive decisions (Reinsch, König, and Rehmann-Sutter 2020) to reproductive governance (Mishtal 2019). Accordingly, identifying emerging issues and challenges related to technologies of doing and undoing reproduction and addressing old and new gaps in the current research landscape on these technologies remains as important as the analysis of the socio-political and clinical aspects of un/doing reproduction. This panel addresses these issues by bringing together scholars working on the many different aspects of doing and/or undoing reproduction in various contexts and from diverse angles and perspectives. We also welcome papers that focus on the intersection of reproduction and other fields of research, such as gender and queer studies, disability studies, STS, climate change, etc.

Accepted papers: