An international conference
University of Amsterdam, 5-6 February 2024
University College London, 8-9 May 2024
In 1994, the Black feminist collective 'Women of African Descent for Reproductive Justice' was the first to coin the term reproductive justice. Based on an intersectional approach, reproductive justice includes the right not to have children through access to contraception, abortion, and abstinence. At the same time, it claims the right to have children in a safe environment, knowing that racialised women and individuals with disabilities have historically been targeted by eugenics policies. Moving beyond the individualistic pro-choice paradigm, which masks the different economic, political, and environmental contexts that limit bodily autonomy (Price, 2010), this concept also transcends the notion of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), by providing a systemic analysis of how structural inequalities (racism, patriarchy, capitalism, ableism, heteronormativity, and homophobia) negatively affect reproductive and sexual lives. It calls for a radical transformation of society to fight against the interconnectedness of oppressions (Ross, 2017; Ross et al, 2017; Ross and Solinger, 2017).
Over the last few decades, we have observed a growing interest in reproductive justice and new variations of the concept, which have evolved to encompass a broader range of issues. For example, Dána-Ain Davis talks about «reproductive injustice» in an ethnography conducted in the United States. She shows that Black women are more likely to give birth to premature babies due to medical racism, a phenomenon linked to the historical legacy of slavery and its continuing impact on black communities (Davis, 2019). Blas Radi also talks about «reproductive injustice» to show how trans people in Argentina are excluded from sexual health and rights, especially in relation to trans men’s demands for access to safe and legal abortion (Radi, 2020). The reproductive justice framework is also extended to include a deeper focus on the environmental crisis by Elisabeth Hoover, who talks about «environmental reproductive justice» in an ethnography in Canada within Indigenous communities. Hoover's work closely examines the impact of environmental contaminants on physical and cultural reproduction, with an emphasis on the interdependence of human health, ecological integrity and social justice (Hoover, 2018). Alongside these contributions, «queer reproductive justice» has emerged as a critical discourse challenging reproductive technologies and kinship making, as well as breaking bounds around non-heteronormative bodies, LGBTIQ+ sexualities, reproduction and family creations (Smietana, Thompson, Twine, 2018).
While there is an increasing number of theoretical perspectives on the issue that shed light on new questions, there is a persistent lack of knowledge production on the practices of reproductive justice. What does reproductive justice mean in practice? How is it concretely integrated into research and activism and care? How do researchers and activists document women's health movements and reproductive justice activism ? This conference aims to engage with reproductive justice practices, by bringing into conversation along feminist, transnational and intersectional perspectives. Co-sponsored by the Health, Care and the Body (HCB) group of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, the UCL Centre for Gender, Health & Social Justice, and the Department of International Development at King's College London, this two-part conference seeks to stimulate international and interdisciplinary exchange and new directions in scholarship on reproductive justice. We welcome multidisciplinary proposals (from sociology, anthropology, history, critical race theory, gender studies, epidemiology, etc.) including feminist historians, archivists, activists, artists, and experts working on aspects of reproductive justice.
We are particularly interested in exploring the following topics:
- Reproductive justice and intersectional feminist activism.
- Racism, population control policies and sterilization abuses.
- Feminist campaigns against harmful contraceptives and obstetric violence. Women traveling across borders to access abortion care and fertility treatment. Reproductive struggles of women living with HIV/AIDS.
- Reproductive struggles of people with disabilities.
- Anarcha-feminism and the struggle for reproductive rights.
- Late-term abortion politics.
- Maternal health inequalities and mortality in socio-economically disadvantaged communities and ethnic minority groups.
- Reproductive injustice and discrimination in health-care.
- Archiving reproductive justice activism
- Decolonizing sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Environmental reproductive justice.
- Queering reproductive justice.
Please submit 250-word abstracts and short biographies in Helvetica 11, 1 line, as a PDF file.
Deadline: 1 december
Please indicate whether you prefer to present in Amsterdam or London. Please also note that we may not be able to accommodate your preference in order to ensure the coherence of the conference programme.
We will also accept some online presentations.
08. November 2023
01. Dezember 2023