Call for Papers: Childbirth Technologies & Techniques (deadline March 15 2021)
Dr. Scottie Hale Buehler, University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Margaret Carlyle, University of British Columbia Okanagan
Open Call for Papers: We invite contributions of articles to a special journal issue focusing on the technological culture of childbirth broadly defined. We are particularly interested in how novel technologies, as well as techniques, changed birthing practices over the long term, from the Middle Ages to the present day. We welcome papers on any aspect of this material culture. This especially includes research that nuances claims of technology-as-progress or that complicates existing narratives about the man-midwife’s takeover of midwifery with the forceps. We also welcome new stories about the history of childbirth practices, women’s technological ingenuity, and the very definition of childbirth ‘technology’ itself.
This issue aims to generate new discussion about the history of childbirth using material culture as a starting point for thinking about obstetrical practices, technologies, and techniques. We welcome discussion of tools, instruments, and techniques both inside and outside of the birthing chamber, in order to develop a more comprehensive picture of the technological culture around birthing over time. The geographic focus of papers is open and the time period is roughly 1400–present.
Technologies and techniques are not limited to the moment of delivery and can focus on pre- and post-partum practices and can include instruments used for diagnostic, anthropometric, practical, quantitative, and educational purposes (e.g. pre-partum diagnostic tools, infant feeding techniques, obstetrical teaching models). We also welcome papers that explore the technological culture of childbirth in relation to gender, race, imperial history, and slavery.
Topics might include but are not limited to:
History of techniques, manual dexterity, and embodied knowledge
Techniques and technologies of midwifery & man-midwifery
Objects, instruments, techniques used medically for childbirth
Material cultures of childbirth
Entanglements of technologies and conceptions of the birthing body
Instruments of control and surveillance in childbirth
Sociomaterial practices of childbirth
Submissions: The editors welcome scholarly submissions from academics and researchers in the fields of history; history of science, technology, and medicine; gender and women’s studies; and related disciplines.
For consideration, please submit a 300-word abstract of your proposed paper, including your title and institutional affiliation, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Papers must be original and should not be previously published or be under review elsewhere for publication. All manuscripts will be subject to a blind peer-review process before they are accepted for publication.
Publication Details & Timeline: Following acceptance of paper topics, the editors will submit a special issue proposal to Technology and Culture (https://www.press.jhu.edu/jou
Dr. Scottie Hale Buehler, University of Texas at Austin and Dr. Margaret Carlyle, University of British Columbia Okanagan