Transforming Pregnancy Since 1900

29 March 2012 - 30 March 2012


Around 1900, few pregnant women in Europe or North America had any contact with a medical practitioner before going into labour. By the second half of the twentieth century, however, the hospitalization of childbirth, the legalization of abortion and a host of biomedical technologies from the home pregnancy test and IVF to obstetric ultrasound and prenatal genetic diagnosis promised unprecedented control. Scholars have explored specific innovations, but we lack a synthetic understanding of transformations in the management and experience of pregnancy across the whole twentieth century.


This interdisciplinary conference will bring together scholars with expertise in the history, sociology and anthropology of reproduction. Talks will be 10-minute summaries and commentaries of pre-circulated papers, followed by discussion in 50-minute slots in such a way as to promote dialogue and critical engagement between fields and approaches.




Salim Al-Gailani (Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge)
Angela Davis (Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick) and
Jesse Olszynko-Gryn (Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge)






Supported by
a Wellcome strategic award in the history of medicine to the Department of History and Philosophy of Science <>,
and the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Reproduction Forum (CIRF) <>


For further details, contact Salim Al-Gailani