Wednesday, February 15, 2023 4pm
About this Event
900 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045
34th Annual Seaver Lecture: Aimee Armande Wilson
"Stories of Reproduction Before and After Roe"
WED FEB 15, 4:00 PM
Hall Center Conference Hall
The relationship between fiction and social change is long and storied. Social movements are often accompanied by works of literature that catalyze changes of opinion, policy, and law. Examples in this category in the United States include Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, and Richard Wright’s Native Son. This mutually generative relationship existed in reproductive movements over the last 100 years. Nevertheless, literary critics have only begun to consider the interactions between works of literature and social change connected to birth control, abortion, parental rights, involuntary sterilization, and so forth. Using material from her 2016 book, Conceived in Modernism: The Aesthetics and Politics of Birth Control, and her current book project, Masculine Pregnancies: Modernist Conceptions of Creativity and Legitimacy, 1918-1939, Aimee Armande Wilson will consider reproductive narratives from the years between the World Wars. Wilson will argue for a deeper appreciation for fiction’s capacity to change how we relate to reproduction by looking at literary engagement with topics such as queer pregnancy, eugenics, and censorship, and will draw connections between the interwar years and post-Roe America. By attending to reproductive narratives from a century ago, we gain a better understanding of the ways that fiction helped shape the reproductive landscape in the United States today and will continue to shape it well into the future.
The Seaver Lecture, named after James E. Seaver, long-time director of the Humanities and Western Civilization Program at the University of Kansas, offers faculty at KU the chance to present their research related to “continuing issues in Western Civilization.” This talk is hosted by the Hall Center and co-sponsored by the Department of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.
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