Chapter proposals are invited for A Cultural History of Pregnancy and Childbirth: The Age of Enlightenment and the Atlantic System (1765 – 1860), under contract with Bloomsbury for their Cultural History Series. We seek authors for the following thematic chapters:
1. Legal and Political Contexts
2. Beliefs and Rituals
3. Science and Medicine
4. Materialities and Technologies
5. Spaces and Practitioners
6. Fertility Control
7. Experiences and Emotions
8. Meanings and Representations
While some scholars have studied reproduction from a single perspective (medical, cultural, or religious, for example), the volumes in this series take a different approach. They demonstrate how and why reproduction is a perfect case study allowing us to see how medicine and science, elite views, religion, popular views, ordinary people’s lived realities, and cultural representations intersected and overlapped, as well as when and why they came into conflict with each other. This collection also highlights newer research themes in the history of pregnancy and birth, devoting space to historical analyses of LGBTQ+ lives, disability, senses, bodily experiences such as pain, and emotions. Although grounded in historical research and historiography, the series hopes also to feature the essential interdisciplinary scholarship in the field, including Archaeology, Religious Studies, Public Health, Anthropology, and Science and Technology Studies (STS).
The particular focus of each chapter within the general themes outlined above is up to the individual author, but topics covered may include fertility (including attempts to promote fertility, infertility, and fertility control), pregnancy and birth, the post-partum period, and/or infant care and feeding. Each chapter will provide an overview for readers of the key issues, problems, questions, methodologies, and debates in the field. If/when appropriate, each chapter also will survey the available primary sources and discuss a sample of these sources. This volume focuses on the century from 1765 to 1860, and it takes a global view; scholars who propose chapters centering comparative and transnational history and engaging with the Global South are particularly welcome. Chapters may adopt a global and comparative focus or may focus on one or two regions while making reference to global developments. Proposals from scholars who live and work in the Global South are encouraged. If a proposal is accepted, completed chapters of between 8,000 and 10,000 words will be due on August 15, 2023.