Deadline: September 5, 2021
Starting Date: October 2021- September 2025
The Unit Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Bern’s vision is to understand how processes of globalization affect intimate lives (for more information, see our website). Our new Swiss National Science Foundation funded research project entitled “Reproductive Geopolitics: Governing and Contesting In/Fertility in the Global Intimate” (2021-2025) aims to investigate how uneven access to reproductive technologies reflects the valuation of certain bodies and lives. Whose bodies are reproduced in the future depends on who has access to reproductive technologies, here understood as both low-tech and high-tech technologies affecting fertility and infertility, conception and contraception, pregnancy and pregnancy termination, and birth and infanticide. The research field of reproductive geopolitics we aim to develop in this project investigates how access to reproductive technologies becomes geopolitical when individuals, states, international organizations, transnational corporations, and religious and nongovernmental organizations define and contest whose bodies count as desirable for reproduction and whose bodies are denied reproduction or restricted in it. We will study the geopolitical governance of in/fertility through three marginalized populations: asylum-seeking women in Switzerland, indigenous women in Mexico and migrant farm workers in Spain. To empirically capture marginalized women’s intimate experiences of reproductive governance, this project will advance an affectual methodology consisting of different participatory and creative methods which we develop through an affectual method toolbox in collaboration with participants and artists in the context of the mLAB at the Institute of Geography at the University of Bern. The affectual methods will generate sonic, visual, cartographic, and online data that we will use to a/effectively communicate these experiences to a broader public.