The Cultural Politics of Reproduction in Latin America

Who We Are

Funded by the Society of Latin American Studies, Dr. Rebecca Ogden and Dr. R Sánchez are co-hosting a series of events that will explore reproductive policies, practice, justice and rights in Latin America.

State-directed initiatives have long attempted to control fertility according to nationalistic and often racist principles; current debates have shown the unequal and contested forces that govern access to contraception and abortion, obstetric violence and the provision of quality healthcare. Through these events, we will especially consider the role that culture plays in reflecting and shaping reproductive politics. 


Events

Reading Groups:

First Section: Scientific racism and reproductive justice in 20th century Latin America

Date: Tuesday, January 14 at 4pm

Location: Seminar Room 204, Alison Richards Building, University of Cambridge

Second Section: Contemporary fertility control, nationhood and reproductive ‘discipline’ in Latin America

Date: Tuesday 21 January at 4pm

Location: Seminar Room 204, Alison Richards Building, University of Cambridge

Readings available here

Research Seminars:

Research seminar: Dr Anne Caruthers (Newcastle University)

Title: “Framing Cinematic Reproduction in Nordeste/Northeast (2005, Argentina/France) and Que sea ley/Let It Be Law (2019, Argentina/France/Uruguay): Rethinking the reproductive body in film”

Wed 5th Feb 2020 at 5pm

Cornwallis NW Room 5, University of Kent 

Research seminar: Dr Sarah Abel (University of Cambridge)

Title: “Mixture in our DNA: The body as racial script in Latin America”

Tuesday 11 Feb 2020 at 5pm 

S1 Room, Alison Richards Building, University of Cambridge

Call for Papers

‘Cultural Politics of Reproduction in Latin America’, conference at the University of Kent (15-16 September 2020).  

Latin American countries have some of the world’s most prohibitive and contentious reproductive health laws and policies; reproduction has long been a question of politics. State-directed initiatives have frequently attempted to control fertility according to nationalistic and often racist principles, while current debates have shown the unequal and contested forces that govern access to contraception, abortion and the provision of quality reproductive and obstetric healthcare. Attempts to fulfil development goals by addressing maternal/ neonatal mortality and morbidity have legitimised the introduction of technologies to medicalise birth and reproduction. And yet, since the 1980s, neoliberal policies have resulted in uneven access to reproductive healthcare in many Latin American countries. Moreover, human rights violations in the region have meant that some communities – many of them indigenous –  have resorted to alternative practices that fall outside of the Clinic (Foucault 1963). Activists and organisations such as the Mexican Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida (GIRE) have lobbied for reproductive justice, rights and the ‘re-humanisation’ of birth, often using culture as a tool to contest injustices. 

The cultural politics of reproduction – the ways that cultural norms and attitudes as well as media and the arts shape the political, legal and social realities of reproduction, and vice versa – have tended to be absent from scholarship focused on this region. It is clear, for instance, that popular culture shapes obstetric practices, such as by normalising medical and technological intervention, as some US and UK studies have shown (Morris & McInerney 2010; Kline 2007; Horeck 2016). What role does culture play in reflecting and shaping the politics of reproduction in Latin America? What can Latin American cultural studies, and the humanities more broadly, bring to reproductive health-based ‘development challenges’, such as the burden of maternal mortality? How can cultural approaches further our understanding of questions of reproductive justice and rights? In order to explore these questions, this conference seeks to facilitate interaction and collaboration between activists, practitioners and scholars from the medical sciences, social sciences and humanities. 

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Reproductive justice and rights, including gay, lesbian, non-binary and trans reproductive rights
  • Eugenics, race and nation-building
  • Migration, surrogacy and adoption
  • Reproductive ‘discipline’
  • Contraception and abortion
  • Midwifery and the medicalisation/technologisation of birth; obstetric violence
  • Cultural representations of pain, risk and agency

Paper proposals of approx. 200 words should be submitted by 29 February 2020 via this link.

Thanks to funding by the Global Challenges Research fund, this conference will be free to attend. Please book your place using this link.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us with any queries: r.h.ogden@kent.ac.uk and rs871@cam.ac.uk . For more information, please see our website.


Get in Touch

The Cultural Politics of Reproduction in Latin America
Dr. Rebecca Ogden, University of Kent (r.h.ogden@kent.ac.uk) or Dr. R Sánchez-Rivera, University of Cambridge (rs871@cam.ac.uk)



Send Us a Message

Applications to be Submitted in the Box Below


Copyright The Cultural Politics of Reproduction in Latin America – All rights reserved

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started