Reproduction and Risk

A BSA Postgraduate Regional Event

20 November 2019 (10am - 4pm)
University of Leicester, UK

About the Event

This one-day conference is designed to stimulate theoretical conversations around the ways risk and anxiety are enacted across the reproductive life course, and, in turn, how they are theorised in various disciplinary sub-fields, such as the sociology of birth, reproductive sociology and the sociology of the family.

Recent work in the sociological discipline has highlighted an intensified pressure on parents (even pre-conception) to be accountable for their reproductive choices and behaviours.

These developments have been situated within an era of ‘intensive mothering’, which sees ‘Euro American’ mothers in particular assume ever greater responsibility for reducing risk to their offspring, regardless of the personal sacrifice required. As part of a wider shift towards modernisation and risk consciousness, it has been suggested that we are now living in a time of ‘anxious reproduction’, which has profound consequences for contemporary individuals, couples and communities.

This postgraduate forum will build on this work by exploring how risk is conceptualised, learnt and enacted across the reproductive subfields.

There will be networking opportunities at the end of the day for those who can stay longer.


We are delighted to announce that our confirmed speakers are:

  • Dr Zeynep Gürtin, UCL Institute for Women’s Health
  • Dr Cathy Herbrand, Centre for Reproduction Research, Leicester de Montfort University

Call for Abstracts

We welcome abstracts from current and recently completed postgraduate students working in the social sciences across the reproductive subfields. We will consider abstracts on any social aspects of human reproduction including, but not limited to: pregnancy and childbirth; mothering/fathering and kinship; infant feeding; (in)fertility; stillbirth and infant death; abortion; miscarriage; assisted conception, new reproductive technologies and genetics.

Successful applicants will be invited to present their work in a short talk or pecha kucha and contribute to a panel discussion. Please indicate in your application if you would prefer to do a talk or pecha kucha, or would like to be considered for either.

Please send abstracts of up to 250 words by 2 August 2019 to Julia Clark.

Abstracts significantly over the word count will not be accepted. Abstracts will be anonymised when reviewed, taking into account the suitability of the topic, the stage of research (if appropriate), and the significance of the findings or proposed arguments to the event. Please state beneath your abstract whether you are a current or recently completed postgraduate student, and at which stage of your studies / research you currently find yourself.

For more information about this event please contact the event organiser, Julia Clark.