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Intersection: 19th and 21st Century Motherhood - Prof Pragya Agarwal

Pragya 618 x 384

The award-winning author, and behaviour and data scientist, Prof. Pragya Agarwal joins Brunel’s Jessica Cox to where their writing and research on Motherhood intersects. Pragya Agarwal published (M)otherhood in 2021 which probes themes of infertility, childbirth and reproductive justice in today’s society. Next year Jessica Cox publishes her book on Victorian motherhood called ConfinementThe Hidden History of Maternal Bodies in Nineteenth-Century Britain.

Pragya Agarwal is the award-winning author of (M)otherhood: On the choices of being a woman, SWAY: Unravelling Unconscious Bias and Wish we knew what to say: Talking with children about race, and a book for children Standing up to Racism. Her most recent book HYSTERICAL: Exploding the myth of gendered emotions was published September. Pragya is a behaviour and data scientist and Visiting Professor of Social Inequities and Injustice at Loughborough University in the UK. She is the founder of a research think-tank The 50 Percent Project investigating women’s status and rights around the world. Pragya has appeared on NPR, BBC Woman’s Hour, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, Australian Broadcasting Service, and Canadian Radio. A passionate campaigner for women’s rights, and two-time TEDx speaker herself, Pragya organised the first ever TEDxWoman event in the north of the UK. Pragya is the winner of the Diverse Wisdom Writing award from Hay House Publishing in 2018, and was named as one of the 100 influential women in social enterprise in the UK, and one of 50 people creating change in the UK-India corridor. As a freelance journalist, Pragya writes - ethical, literary, scientific- articles widely. Her writing on bias and prejudice, motherhood, gender and racial inequality and mental health has appeared in The Guardian, New Scientist, Scientific American, Independent, BMJ, Times Higher Education, Huffington Post, Prospect, Forbes, and many more.

Jessica Cox is a Reader in English Literature at Brunel University. She has worked on the Victorian period for many years, publishing books on Charlotte Brontë and Victorian popular fiction. Following the births of her children, she became increasingly interested in women’s experience of maternity in the nineteenth century. She has discussed the history of pregnancy and breastfeeding in several articles and on radio. Her forthcoming book on Victorian motherhood called Confinement: The Hidden History of Maternal Bodies in Nineteenth-Century Britain focuses on women’s lived experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, and infant care and will be published in 2023.

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