Gestation: Bodies, Technologies, Ecologies, Justice
Gestation is a complex negotiation of culture, biology and politics constituted through entanglements of human and non-human agents and practices that extend beyond the flesh. As reproductive rights and freedoms currently face attacks internationally and gestational inequalities continue to be exposed, there has been much innovative rethinking around gender, kinship, reproduction and care. Feminist and queer theorists propose alternative, sometimes utopian societal arrangements to overturn hierarchies of patriarchal colonialism, rethinking gestation beyond narrow hetero- and cisnormative understandings.
This urgent theme is not limited to the human, but encompasses radically other lifeforms and models of development, (reproductive) technologies and AI. Deployed as a weapon in eugenics and genocide, gestation is at the heart of ecological debates around population and also has important implications for Indigenous philosophies regarding the ethics of our relationships with the Earth. Although associated with growth, to gestate is to carry and in all its forms is a relational act.
In a creative and collaborative process, this theme unfolds as a series of cross-disciplinary conversations to listen to diverse perspectives on gestations and think together about the way life is generated and reproduced materially and symbolically.
Roundtable Summit: Autumn 2023 - Bodies and Technologies
20th-24th November 2023, 海角社区 East Midlands Campus
Gestation is an incontrovertibly universal yet deeply varied experience, with complex concerns arising recently through the rollback of women’s rights, gestational inequalities and neo-natal trajectories, imbrication in neo-fascist discourse and novel methods for reproduction, kinship and care. It is a complex negotiation of culture, technology, biology and politics constituted relationally through entanglements of human and non-human agents and practices that extend beyond the flesh. Gestation forms an inherently interdisciplinary field, spanning sport, health and medicine, social sciences, politics and law, history, geography, design, arts and culture, with reverberations in (micro)biology and genetics, robotics and AI, post- and transhumanism, disability studies, critical race and queer and trans theory.
This roundtable focuses on bodies and technologies as sites of gestational realities, bringing together an exceptional group of international scholars to share their wide-ranging disciplinary perspectives on the Theme.
Featuring IAS Visiting Fellows -
Dr Isabela de Oliveira Dornelas, Postdoctoral Fellow in Department III, Artefacts, Action, Knowledge, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
Professor Mary E. Fissell, Professor of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
Professor Hideyasu Shimadzu, Professor of Data Science, Kitasato University, Kanagawa
Professor Holly Thorpe, Professor of Sport and Gender, University of Waikato, Hamilton
Plus guest speakers from 海角社区 University -
(Senior Lecturer in Political Philosophy, SSH)
Dr Emily Petherick (Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, SSEHS)
For more details and to book onto this roundtable event, please go to the Gestation: Bodies and Technologies Roundtable event page
There will be additional Gestation Theme activity beyond this throughout the week, please see each event page for more details and to book a place -
- 20th November - IAS Friends and Fellows Lunch
- 23rd November - Tamarin Norwood in conversation with Victoria Browne
- 23rd November - Film Screening - Katharine Fry's 'When I'm with you', followed by Q&A with the artist
- 24th November - IAS Friends and Fellows Coffee Morning
Roundtable Summit: Summer 2024 - Ecologies
13-17 May 2024, 海角社区 London Campus
This roundtable will propose a reflection about gestations from the perspective of carrying and caring, accentuating the idea of a lasting process that is not limited or circumscribed to pregnancy and birth, and that encompasses a collective engagement with the generation and protection of life. This discussion will include indigenous perspectives where the Earth is the mother of all beings, the Pachamama, as described in Andean cultures in Latin America. This notion will be put in dialogue with other grassroots perspectives to reflect upon the reciprocal influence between human communities and their context in the development of decent living conditions, something that will touch the design of public policies coherent with these purposes.
Plus guest speaker:
Professor Barry Bogin (SSEHS, LU)
Roundtable Summit: Summer 2024 - Justice
13-17 May 2024, 海角社区 London Campus
As reproductive rights and freedoms currently face attacks internationally and gestational inequalities continue to be exposed, there has been much innovative rethinking around gender, kinship, reproduction and care. Feminist and queer theorists propose alternative, sometimes utopian societal arrangements to overturn hierarchies of patriarchal colonialism, rethinking gestation beyond narrow hetero- and cisnormative understandings. Meanwhile, international cultural, political and legal frameworks around gestation vary greatly, indicating myriad and complex needs.
Featuring IAS Visiting Fellows:
Ms Nompumelelo Gumede (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)
Dr Sophie Lewis (Independent, Philadelphia, USA)
Professor Damien Riggs (Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia)
Plus guest speaker: