This symposium will explore diverse womb-related developments from the past, present and future, investigating important ethical and socio-legal questions emerging from new and future technologies.
Historically, the womb has featured in medical, social and legal debates about women. A functioning womb saved a woman from the ‘curse’ of barrenness, but also was often blamed for women’s erratic behaviour and used to deny women many opportunities and legal rights. What can we learn from women’s ‘hystories’? Today, attempts are repeatedly made to police pregnancy, interfering with women’s rights on the grounds of fetal health, as the womb is treated as a conflict zone for public health. The womb also is a focus of reproductive futures. Until recently, pregnancy was only possible for a woman born with a healthy womb, but science is facilitating exciting possibilities for gestation such as artificial wombs. Will the womb become a non-binary reproductive organ?
These and other exciting questions will be addressed through three diverse sessions, each encompassing two or three prepared talks followed by a panel discussion.
9.30 – 10: Arrival and Coffee
10 – 10.15: Welcome and Introductions
10.15 – 12: Reflecting on women’s hystories: ‘wandering wombs’ in science and society (Session 1)
12 – 12.30: Coffee Break
12.30 – 2.15: Exploring reproductive autonomy: the womb and evolving attitudes, rights and responsibilities (Session 2)
2.15 – 3: Lunch
3 – 4.30: Speculating about reproductive futures: partial ectogenesis and
de-gendering reproduction (Session 3)
4.30 – 5: Close
5 – 6: Wine Reception
Session 1: Professor Margaret Brazier (University of Manchester), Dr Sarah Fox (University of Manchester) and Caroline Henaghan (University of Manchester)
Session 2: Professor Stephen Wilkinson (Lancaster University), Dr Nicola Williams (Lancaster University) and Dunja Begovic (University of Manchester)
Session 3: Professor Emily Jackson (London School of Economics) and Elizabeth Chloe Romanis (University of Manchester)
Dr Amel Alghrani (University of Liverpool), Professor Rebecca Bennett (University of Manchester), Professor Susan Bewley (King’s College London), Catherine Bowden (University of Manchester), Professor Emma Cave (Durham University), Dr Alexandra Mullock (University of Manchester), Laura O’Donovan (Lancaster University)
Mon, 4 November 2019
09:30 – 17:00 GMT
The University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL
Admission free – register via Eventbrite