Infertility in History, Science and Culture Conference

This international conference was held in July 2013, co-convened by academics from the University of Edinburgh and Cardiff University.

The conference was an opportunity to bring together researchers working in the under-explored field of infertility on history, science and culture. Professor Margaret Marsh (Rutgers University) gave the keynote address, ‘Infertility and Beyond: Writing the History of Reproductive Medicine in the 21st Century’.

There were a number of panel discussions across the three days which concluded with the closing discussion, 'Stratified Reproduction and Bioavailable Women in a Globalised Market for Infertility’, led by Professor Naomi Pfeffer (SDS, University College London). Download the presentation or listen to the discussion.

The conference was hosted by the University of Edinburgh and co-convened by Dr. Gayle Davis (University of Edinburgh) and Dr. Tracey Loughran (Cardiff University).

Panel discussions

Panel 1: (Un)Reproductive Bodies: Regulating Fertility

A panel discussion chaired by Jennifer Evans. The panellists were:

Panel 2: Medicine, Technology and Changing Conceptions of Infertility

A panel discussion chaired by Tracey Loughran. The panellists were:

  • Ramona Braun (University of Cambridge), Hairy Bodies, Smooth Ovaries and the ‘Simple Cut’: Androgen Excess in the Eyes and Hands of Laparoscopic Surgeons in the 1960s.
  • Liberty Barnes (University of Cambridge), Harnessing Power and Maintaining Control: Infertile Men’s Use of Medical Technologies. Listen to the paper.
  • Daniela Cutas (Maastricht University), Infertility in the Future: No More?

Panel 3: The Body Politic: Infertility and the State

A panel discussion chaired by Gayle Davis. The panellists were:

Panel 4: Concepts of Blame and Responsibility in Discourses on Infertility

A panel discussion chaired by Sarah Toulalan. The panellists were:

Panel 5: Reproducing the Nation: Gender, Family and Fertility

A panel discussion chaired by Duncan Wilson. The panellists were:

  • Daphna Oren-Magidor (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “To Have a Jolly Child of Mine Owne Body Borne:” The Significance of Infertility in Early Modern England. Listen to the paper.
  • Christina Benninghaus (University of Cambridge), Making it Happen: Diagnosing and Treating Infertility in Weimar Germany.
  • Hayley Andrew (York University, Toronto), ‘Phantom Fathers’ and ‘Test Tube Babies’: Reproductive Technologies in the British Media, c.1950 - 1960. Listen to the paper.

Panel 6: Contexts of Infertility: Individuals and Families

A panel discussion chaired by Tracey Loughran. The panellists were:

Panel 7: Doctor-Patient Relations

A panel discussion chaired by Lisa Smith. The panellists were:

Panel 8: Demography and Degeneration: Infertility and Population Politics

A panel discussion chaired by Anne Hanley. The panellists were:

Panel 9: Doctors, Patients and Reproductive Rights

A panel discussion chaired by Liberty Barnes. The panellists were:

Panel 10: Infertility, Ageing and Agency

A panel discussion chaired by Tracey Loughran. The panellists were:

If you would like to find out more about this event please contact:

Tracey Loughran

Senior Lecturer in Medical History

Sponsors

The conference organisers gratefully acknowledge the support of:

Related resources

These are some useful resources that can help you explore this field in more depth: