One day free symposium organised by the Postgraduate Contemporary Women’s Writing Network (PGCWWN)
University of Southampton, 21st February 2015.

This one day FREE symposium seeks to examine the relationship between biomedical science and the maternal body as represented in the works of contemporary women writers. The pregnant body has always been a site for much debate, particularly when placed in dialogue with feminist issues of autonomy and subjectivity. When considered alongside biomedical science, these debates are further complicated by women’s ambivalent attitudes towards both the freedoms and the constrictions that modern scientific developments bring. In exploring the relationship between women and nature, biology, science and technology, contemporary women writers go some way towards addressing the questions raised by such discussions.

In order to encourage transdisciplinary participation, the PG CWWN wishes to expand its usual focus from contemporary women’s writing to include papers from a variety of areas of research. We hope to foster a dialogue between literature and the sciences, with the aim of achieving a more holistic understanding of this fascinating subject.

Topics may include (but are by no means limited to):

  • Pregnancy, subjectivity and autonomy
  • Contemporary conceptions of motherhood
  • Women’s relationship with their own biology
  • Choice, control and power
  • Binarisms regarding ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’
  • Maternal embracing or rejection of scientific interventions
  • Reproductive technologies and roles within reproduction

Additionally, we are delighted to confirm Professor Clare Hanson as the keynote speaker for the event. Her research interests lie in the relationship between medicine and culture, with a particular emphasis on theoretical and fictional responses to new reproductive technologies and the cultural implications of modern genetic science.

Please submit a 200-word abstract for 15 minute papers, along with a brief biographical note via email by 6thFebruary, 2015. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us via this email address or through Twitter and Facebook. The event is also open to non-presenting delegates.

We are also delighted to be able to offer one £50 bursary to cover the travel costs for attending the event. In order to qualify for this bursary, the speaker must produce a review of the event (by 7thMarch) for publication on the PG CWWN blog. Please state in your email if you are interested in applying for this opportunity, and why you think you should be chosen.


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