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Birth, The Body and Performance

Birth is now prevalent in mainstream media, such as film, television and social media, as well as the focus for interventions in the performing and visual arts. The presence of birth in such sites is significant as it exemplifies a visibility of ‘returning birth to women’ when historically women’s role in birth has been absent, hidden or denied in the cultural sphere (Tyler & Baraitser, 2013: 10). Considering media, social media, visual arts, performing arts and the everyday, this day aims to bring together academics, practitioners and activists to discuss the shared issues, aims and links that emerge when exploring the performance of birth across these sites. The day will be as follows:


Registration: 11.30-12:00

Welcome: 12:00-12:15

Visual and Performing Arts: 12: 15- 13:45

Lucy Halton, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

'B!RTH: theatre for change'

Natalie Lennard, Birth Undisturbed

Title: TBC

Helen Knowles, Birth Rites Collection

‘Birth, Art and Censorship’

Emily Underwood-Lee and Lena Simic, University of South Wales

‘Performance and the Maternal’


Media and Everyday Life: 14:00-15:45

Evelyn Callahan, Brunel University London

'Embodying Impossibility: Men and non-binary people navigating pregnancy, Childbirth and the Post-Natal Experience'

Toni Harman, Microbirth

'The importance of what is not seen at birth'

Sarah Gregory and Nicola Washington, Make Motherhood Diverse

Title: TBC

Julie Roberts, University of Nottingham

'Televising birth and the politics of maternity care'

Closing remarks: 15:45-16:00

Lunch and refreshments will be provided

All welcome but please register.