University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Geography - main Departmental seminar series > "Constructing the ‘fetal environment:’ making intergenerational publics in a regional biobank"

"Constructing the ‘fetal environment:’ making intergenerational publics in a regional biobank"

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Pregnancy is regarded by health researchers as a key period in which to begin studies focusing on the child, configuring the pregnant person’s body as the child’s first ‘environment.’ This presentation explores the history of efforts to enroll pregnant women in research studies focused on child health, exploring the role such studies play in the broader reproductive biopolitics aimed at governing pregnant bodies. Drawing on interviews with mothers, health professionals and scientists, and archival materials from a longitudinal study of child health in the south west of the UK, the presentation considers how the concept of the ‘foetal environment’ was materialised through the collection of tissues such as cord blood and placenta. In this way, the paper calls for renewed attention to the reproductive histories of population geography.

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - main Departmental seminar series series.

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