Reproduction and family planning in Australia: reception-keynote Catherine Waldby

Presenter/s: Schools of Sociology and Demography, RSSS, CASS

Event type: Evening reception

Event date: Monday, 20 November 2017 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Event venue: University House Hotel, 1 Balmain Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601

An evening reception with Professor Catherine Waldby, Director of the RSSS who will delive a Keynote lecture regarding her most recent research, Reproduction and Social Order. This reception provides an opportunity for symposium participants and interested scholars to gather in a less formal atmosphere before attending sessions together the following day.


Abstract: From Frankenstein and Brave New World to The Handmaid’s Tale and Orphan Black, reproduction often figures as the means to imagine a dystopian social order. The organisation of conception, gestation, birth, or the possibility of life created through technique rather than ‘proper’ biology, are located at the centre of oppressive regimes or the nightmarish experience of creatures manufactured in a laboratory. In this lecture I will use some of these texts, as well as historical and contemporary social practices around reproduction, to consider how we can better understand the relationship between reproduction as a biological and social capacity and the ways power relations more broadly are articulated. In particular I will consider the ways the ordering of reproduction was central to the working of the 20th century welfare state and national economy, and is central to contemporary geopolitics.

Bionote: Professor Catherine Waldby is Director of the Research School of Social Sciences, at the Australian National University, and Visiting Professor at the Department of Social Science and Medicine at King’s College London. Her researches focuses on social studies of biomedicine and the life sciences. Her recent books include The Global Politics of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Science: Regenerative Medicine in Transition, (with Herbert Gottweis and Brian Salter, Palgrave 2009), Clinical Labour: Tissue donors and Research Subjects in the Global Bioeconomy (with Melinda Cooper, Duke University Press 2014) and The Oocyte Economy: the changing meaning of human eggs in fertility, assisted reproduction and stem cell research (Duke University Press 2018). With Nikolas Rose and Ilina Singh, she is the editor of BioSocieties: an interdisciplinary journal for the social studies of life sciences. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a member of the History and Philosophy committee of the Academy of Science. She has received national and international research grants for her work on stem cells, blood donation and biobanking.

Please register for this event online

This event is sponsored by the Gender Institute and the Schools of Sociology and Demography.


Updated:  7 November 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute