Journal of Women’s History Special Issue

Edited by Leslie J. Reagan
History, Medicine, Gender and Women's Studies, Law
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Reproduction, sexuality, and bodies have been key sites for state and
religious intervention and control, for defining gender, class, race,
and sexual identity and for establishing hierarchies and
inequalities. They have also been of central significance to
individuals and to organized feminist movements. Although today some
may think of "sex" and "reproduction" as unrelated topics and fields
of research, historically they have been closely intertwined. This
issue seeks to spotlight the centrality of reproduction, sex, and
power to women's history and to demonstrate the ways in which power
has been made, played, and fought over and through reproduction and
sex. Indeed, histories of nations and empire, foreign policy and
law, religion and popular culture are not free of these seemingly
private experiences. Precisely how power has worked through
reproduction and sex varies in time and place; this special issue
will illuminate the points of similarity, divergence, and
convergence, the moments when these areas of personal experience
become politically powerful and sites of collective action. The
range of possible topics is broadly defined, including, for instance,
obstetrics and gynecology, midwifery, technologies, practitioners,
birth control, adoption, sexual practices, sexual identity and
parenting, health and sex education.

Research essays from all time periods, geographical regions, and
methodological and theoretical stances on the themes of this issue
are welcomed.

Submission deadline is September 1, 2008. Manuscripts should be no
more than 10,000 words with notes. Please consult the JWH website
for submission guidelines:

Submissions should be addressed to:
Leslie J. Reagan
Editor, Reproduction, Sex, and Power Special Issue
Journal of Women's History
c/o Department of History
University of Illinois
810 South Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801


  1. I wish I had the credentials to add to this. Reproductive exploitation is what adoption and surrogacy are all about. This is one area in which the “feminist” movement has sadly erred and avoided the reality because, as you put it in a prior post, they are too busy adopting, themselves. Ask me as the mother of adoption loss, twice over, if I feel I was exploited, used, abused and then abandoned by this industry. Boy, Howdy!

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