Thursday, 27 August 2015

Regulating Birth Symposium Request for Proposals


The Oregon Historical Quarterly, in collaboration with Dr. Christin Hancock of the University of Portland, will organize a fall 2015 symposium that promotes scholarship on the broad subject of regulating birth, including from legal, social, political, religious, and cultural perspectives. A special issue of the journal will be drawn from the scholarship presented and is expected to be published approximately one year after the symposium. Understanding that birth is an experience shared by everyone, our goal is to foster the production and public sharing of scholarship that explores themes and questions including, for example: how ideas of morality impact where, when, if, and how women give birth; how changes in scientific understanding (including genetics) affect the medicines, advice, and practices that attend pregnancy and childbirth; how professionalization of the medical field has affected the work, training, and regulation of midwifes and doulas; relationships between citizenship and birth; worker protective legislation (or lack thereof) and connections to women as child-bearers; relationships between religious beliefs and birth practices; impacts of pesticides, herbicides, and other industrial material on pregnancy, birth, and babies; and how experiences of stillbirth, miscarriage, and post-partum depression are regulated.

To Apply
Submit a title and narrative of 350 to 500 words that outlines the proposed subject of your paper to be presented at the symposium, as well as a short CV (formatted as a pdf file), as an email attachment to with the subject "regulating birth." The narrative should make clear the new information or scholarly analysis to be presented. While topics should have clear relationship to the history of Oregon, broadly defined as the historic Oregon Country, connections to broader regional, national, and global histories are encouraged. The Oregon Historical Society will have funds available to cover participants’ travel costs.

The proposal deadline has been extended to 8:00 am on Monday, January 5, 2015. We will communicate with all applicants about whether they are invited to participate in the symposium by mid January. The symposium is expected to take place in early November 2015, and the exact date will be determined by participants’ schedules. Papers will be submitted to organizers by mid-September 2015, and revised papers will be submitted for consideration by the Oregon Historical Quarterly by mid-January 2016.