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Chapter proposals are invited for A Cultural History of Reproduction in the Early Modern Age (1500 – 1765) under contract with Bloomsbury for their Cultural History Series. This volume will form part of a 6-volume series that covers the history of reproduction from antiquity to the present. We seek authors for the following thematic chapters focusing on the early modern period:
1. Legal and Political Contexts
2. Beliefs and Rituals
3. Science and Medicine
4. Materialities and Technologies
5. Spaces and Practitioners
6. Fertility Control
7. Experiences and Emotions
8. Meanings and Representations
This volume takes a thematic and transnational approach to the history of reproduction, with synthetic chapters addressing the above themes. Rather than addressing reproduction from a single perspective (such as medicine, culture, religion, etc.), the aim of this series is to emphasize the ways reproduction brings into focus the intersections between areas like science and medicine, law, cultural representations, lived realities, popular culture and so forth. This collection highlights both a global perspective and newer research themes in the history of pregnancy and birth, such as LGBTQ+ lives, disability, the senses, bodily experiences such as pain, and emotions. Although grounded in historical research and historiography, the series hopes also to feature the essential interdisciplinary scholarship in the field, including Archaeology, Religious Studies, Public Health, Anthropology, and Science and Technology Studies (STS).
The particular focus of each chapter within the general themes outlined above is up to the individual author, but topics covered may include fertility (including attempts to promote fertility, infertility, and fertility control), abortion, pregnancy and birth, the post-partum period, and/or infant care and feeding. Each chapter should provide an overview for readers of the key issues, problems, questions, methodologies, and debates in the field. If/when appropriate, each chapter also will survey the available primary sources and discuss a sample of these sources. This volume focuses on the Early Modern Period (from about 1500-1765), and it takes a global view; scholars who propose chapters centering comparative and transnational history and engaging with the Global South are particularly welcome. Chapters may adopt a global and comparative focus or may focus on one or two regions while making reference to global developments. Proposals from scholars who live and work in the Global South are encouraged. If a proposal is accepted, completed chapters of between 8,000 and 10,000 words will be due on August 15, 2023.