Call for Papers: Reproduction in the Post-genomic Age

We would like to invite all Science & Society network members to submit a paper for an upcoming panel on Reproduction in the Post-Genomic Age, to be held at the 4S/EASST conference in Prague from 18-21st August this year. The deadline for abstract submission is 29 February.

  1. Reproduction in the Post-genomic Age

Jaya Keaney, Deakin University; Sonja Van Wichelen, University of Sydney

This panel will bring together scholars working on the intersection of reproduction and post-genomic science, also called the new biologies. Encompassing fields such as epigenetics, microbiome research and immunology, post-genomic science offers new biological theorisations that complicate the agency of the gene in determining human individuality. Reproduction—and pregnancy in particular—is a privileged site in this research, with transmissions between foetus and gestator offering biological models that challenge dominant ideas of personhood as gene-centred and separate from gestational and non-human environments. The reproductive body is so central to these fields that, as Mansfield and Guthman (2015, 3) write of epigenetics, we can conceptualise them as a ‘reproductive science’.

The collision of post-genomic research and constructions of reproduction contains both substantial potential and risk. In foregrounding how reproductive and nonhuman environments shape the distribution of life outcomes, the new biologies can validate through scientific discourse a concept of reproduction as a more-than-human milieu. Such a conceptualisation has long animated reproductive justice approaches, and is at the heart of a recent social sciences turn to ‘environmental reproductive justice’ (Lappé, Hein and Landecker 2019). At the same time, in practice post-genomic studies often construct pregnancy and motherhood as coherent, natural processes that translate easily across cultural and species boundaries, naturalising maternal care and longstanding discourses of responsibility that stratify reproduction across raced, classed and geographic axes (Martin 2010; Warin et al 2012). Seizing these rich tensions, this panel welcomes papers invested in questions of reproductive experience and justice in changing post-genomic times.



Keywords: reproduction; post-genomic science; biology; pregnancy; environment

Categories: Gender/Sexuality/Feminist STS, Genetics, Genomics, Biotechnology, Environmental/Multispecies Studies

Submit your abstract here:

Deadline for abstracts: 29th February