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Symposium Spotlight: Remodelling the Human

Symposium Spotlight
Remodelling the Human: Reproductive Models and Feminist Technoscience
In deepening our knowledge about how human beings reproduce, scientific models reconstitute reproduction as a cultural form and a lived experience. That is, technoscientific distillations of reproductive health are “recursive” in Sarah Franklin’s (2013) sense, folding back to remodel ideas of conception and human relations more generally. In the past several decades, reproductive technologies have reshaped our notions of conception, shifting how we understand fertility, inheritance, and kinship. Fetal imaging has created a new visual repertoire of pregnancy around which abortion debates have oscillated, and embryo imaging technologies have similarly forged new hierarchies of potentiality, assisted by developments in artificial intelligence. Innovations in epigenetics and post-genomic sciences have offered a model of “intercalating environments” between generations, scrambling linear expectations of the life course through attention to intergenerational imbrication (Landecker & Panofsky 2012). And developments in bio- and nanotechnology now reframe understandings of pregnancy complications by creating cyborg models of the uterine and placental interfaces in vitro. Across these diverse terrains, reproductive temporalities, embodiment, and gendered notions of responsibility for health are in turn revised by the models employed to understand them.
This symposium will bring together feminist scholars interested in technoscientific practices of modelling human reproduction. Interdisciplinary in scope and diverse in research focus, we aim to explore the vital role of models in reshaping reproduction. In attending to the material practices, situated contexts, and gendered imaginaries through which they emerge, participants will investigate what current and emerging reproductive models might reflect, reinforce, and contest about reproductive discourses.

Organised by Dr Jaya Keaney (Deakin University) and Dr Jacqueline Dalziell (Macquarie University)


9:30 – 9:45am – Welcome
Introduction: Jaya Keaney & Jacqueline Dalziell
Welcome to Country: Wadawurrung Traditional Owners
9:45 – 10:30am – Session 1
Dr. Claire Horn (Health Law Institute, Dalhousie University)
Ectogenesis at home? Reimagining artificial wombs 
Dr. Mianna Lotz (Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University)
The repro-norms and procreative models of uterus transplantation: 
Pure encumbrances or potential targets for disruption and recursion?
10:30 – 10:40am – Break
10:40 – 11:25am – Session 2
Prof. Catherine Mills (Monash Bioethics Institute, Monash University)
Mitochondrial replacement techniques and the erasure of the maternal 
Dr. Jacqueline Dalziell (Macquarie University) & Dr. Jaya Keaney (Deakin University)
Immortalising organs: Remodelling the placenta in vitro

11:25 – 11.35am – Break
11:35 – 12:30pm – Keynote
Prof. Celia Roberts (School of Sociology, ANU)
Domestic science and home-based research: Rethinking the cutting edges of reproduction 
Discussant: Dr. Natali Valdez (Wellesley College)
Register Here
This symposium is an initiative of @ProjectPlacenta
Supported by a Deakin Science & Society Network Project Incubator Grant 2020
Dr Jaya Keaney is a feminist technoscience scholar interested in the intersections of reproduction, bioscientific cultures, and social inequity. Her current research projects explore race and sexuality in fertility markets, epigenetic understandings of intergenerational trauma, and placental modelling technologies. Jaya is the recipient of the 2021 PhD Prize from the Australian Women’s and Gender Studies Association (AWGSA), and her recent work can be found in Body & Society, Continuum, and the edited anthology Long Term: Essays on Queer Commitment. Jaya currently holds the position of Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute (Deakin University) until 2022, when she will take up the role of Lecturer in Gender Studies at the University of Melbourne. 
Jacqueline Dalziell is a sociologist, whose research merges contemporary social theory with perspectives from classical social theory. Her interests traverse feminist theory, sociology of science, continental philosophy and psychoanalytic thought, however her primary research concerns the human/animal distinction. After completing her PhD in Sociology at UNSW, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UNSW producing feminist science studies research within the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology. She now holds a position in the Philosophy Department at Macquarie University, where she conducts bioethics/feminist science studies research in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology project, funded by the Australian Research Council.