Event Header Image

Contemporary Challenges in a Post-Covid19 World

A Human Reproduction Study Group Summer Event

20 May 2021 (2pm-4pm GMT)
Hosted by De Montfort University and the BSA on ZOOM

About the Event

We are pleased to announce that this year our plenary speaker will be Professor Ayo Wahlberg from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen who will deliver his talk titled ‘Decline-fertility forms in a stratified world’.

Plenary Biography

Ayo Wahlberg is a Professor MSO at the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen. He is the author of the award-winning monograph Good Quality – the Routinization of Sperm Banking in China (2018, University of California Press) and co-editor of Selective Reproduction in the 21st Century (2018, Palgrave MacMillan). Ayo’s current project “The Vitality of Disease – Quality of Life in the Making” (funded by the European Research Council, 2015-2021) will come to an end in March 2021 at a final conference on “Chronic Living”.

Plenary Abstract

In recent years global media headlines have proclaimed a “jaw dropping global fertility crash” and “the end of babies” while also reporting “record low” birth rates in Japan, the USA, Finland, Chile and more. In Asia, what has come to be known as ‘ultra-low fertility’ has stabilized in South Korea and Taiwan where fertility rates have fallen below 1. Moreover, while China recently tweaked its ‘one child policy’ into a ‘two child policy’ to encourage birth, family planning officials have been left surprised as the estimated 20+ million births that the National Bureau of Statistics had foreseen for 2020 fell spectacularly short at 10 million actual births. Demographers have long explained fertility decline by pointing to female educational attainment, labour participation and access to contraception, while others seek to understand the “reproductive decision making” of women and their partners (if they have one), pointing to gaps between reproductive desires, intentions and behaviours, not least in times of climate crisis. In this paper, I change tack by asking how we might understand falling fertility in terms of the processes that come to configure what might be thought of as fertility forms around patterns of inequalities, economic precarity, discrimination and the relentless pressures of “modern living”.

This event will also welcome invited talks from:

  • Dr Charlotte Faircloth, Associate Professor of Social Science at University College London. Her talk is titled: ‘Not the best time: Methodological and ethical challenges of researching parenting in a pandemic’
  • Dr Mari Greenfield, job title at institution. Her talk is titled ‘Unpredictable, unclear and unsafe; changes to expectant parents’ views of maternity services during the first UK lockdown’.

Programme

2:00pm

Welcome and Introductions

2:10-3:00pm

Plenary speaker: Prof Ayo Wahlberg ‘Decline–fertility forms in a stratified world’

3:00pm-3:30pm

Dr Charlotte Faircloth 'Not the best time: Methodological and ethical challenges of researching parenting in a pandemic’

3:30-4:00pm

Dr Mari Greenfield ‘Unpredictable, unclear and unsafe; changes to expectant parents’ views of maternity services during the first UK lockdown’

4:00pm

Thank you and close

Registration and Fees

Please register in advance, here:

  • Concessionary BSA member (full-time student, retired, unwaged) £5
  • Student non-BSA member £10
  • BSA member £10/ Non-BSA member £15

For more information please contact Kylie Baldwin.