Perceptions of Pregnancy

Next summer myself and Dr Ciara Meehan will be hosting a conference on the perceptions of pregnancy from the medieval period to the modern at the University of Hertfordshire.

Here is the call for papers and a link to the conference website:

Perceptions of Pregnancy:  From the Medieval to the Modern

Organised by School of Humanities, University of Hertfordshire

16 – 18 July 2014

L0005357 Woman bearing 20 children.

 Keynote Speakers:

Professor Joanne Bailey

(Oxford Brooks University)

Dr Elaine Farrell

(Queen’s University Belfast)

This three day conference aims to bring together scholars working across a range of disciplines, time periods and global perspectives to examine perceptions of pregnancy throughout history. We welcome papers considering a range of issues, including, but not limited to,

  • Pregnancy, including the pregnant body and the experience of pregnancy,
  • Unlawful pregnancy, including rape, incest and sexual abuse,
  • Fertility and infertility, including IVF, miscarriage and still-birth,
  • Abortion and contraception, including pro-life and pro-choice debate,
  • Parenthood, single parenthood, and infanticide.

Potential themes for discussion are:

  • Magic, ritual and religion,
  • Technology and medicine,
  • Gender, including male involvement and experiences,
  • Government policy and politics,
  • Work life, domesticity and childcare.

300-word proposals for twenty-minute papers should be sent to the conference organisers by 1 February 2014.  We welcome postgraduate papers.  Informal enquiries can be directed to Dr Jennifer Evans ( and Dr Ciara Meehan (

Updates will be added to


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