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Historicizing Reproduction


The aim of this project is to historizise the shifts and moves reproduction underwent from a concept that described a pregiven capacity fixed in “life” and defining matter as “living” to a capacity apprehended through technoscience and open to transformation. It focuses on the 20th century as a central period when the “technoscientific turn” in reproduction took place. The project investigates reproduction as a dispersed phenomenon in time and space that transgresses bodies, disciplines, the boundaries of nature and society, a phenomenon which cannot be understood as an isolated problem of medicine and biology. Instead it resituates reproduction in a knot of multiple and surprising genealogies and as a multi-sited process which needs to be tackled by a constellation of methodological tools to do justice to its complexity. To historicize reproduction means not only to ask how genealogical and heteronormative arrangements of reproduction have been undone, rearranged, and even queered but also to investigate reproductive practices from a broad, interdisciplinary framework, such as history, anthropology, and science and technology studies (STS).
This project’s historicization of reproduction will follow along the three main axis of transindividuality, temporalities and economy, themes that are pivotal to charting reproduction as a relational process . The project will foreground theses axis by focusing on three domains of reproductive sciences and their entanglements: reproductive medicine, agriculture and livestock breeding, and those fields that explore aggregate forms of life - collectives, societies, populations – like public health, the global health movement, and international feminism with a specific emphasis on non-western countries like South-Asia and Latin-America.

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Bibliothekstrasse 1
28359 Bremen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 252 244,80
Administrative Contact
Michi Knecht (Prof.)