Call for Papers – Chronic Living conference, University of Copenhagen, 23-25 April 2020

Nicky Hudson, Cathy Herbrand, Helene Mitchell and Kriss Fearon from the CRR are organising an open panel (number 5) at the Chronic Living conference at the University of Copenhagen, 23-25th April 2020. Please consider submitting a paper to our panel. The deadline for abstract submissions is 1st November 2019. To submit a paper and register go to:

Procreative interruptions: understanding reproductive uncertainty and parenting practices in the context of chronic and genetic disease

Panel convenors:
Nicky Hudson  
Helene Mitchell
Cathy Herbrand
Kriss Fearon

For the millions of people around the world living with chronic and genetic disease, conception, pregnancy and parenthood may be disrupted by their experiences of ill health. Tentative diagnoses, symptomatic bodies and biomedical protocols create ambivalences and uncertainties around planning for and having children. In contrast, fertile imaginaries tend to coalesce around narratives of hope, futurity and normalcy, with reproducing bodies seen as sites of wellness and productivity.

As a socio-biological process, reproduction spans the life course, traversing and intersecting multiple events and trajectories (Almeling 2015). In the context of chronic and genetic diseases, reproductive expectations and experiences may become fragmented, appraised, revised and re-ordered. Biomedical innovations and reproductive technologies designed to overcome, circumvent or ‘fix’ ill, infertile, or genetically risky bodies add further layers of ambivalence, hope and risk.

In this panel we seek to explore the contingencies and complexities that accompany reproductive decision-making and parenting practices in the context of chronic and genetic disease. We wish to bring in to dialogue scholarship that considers a broad range of conditions and reproductive events, and to think about a ‘vital reproductive politics’, in order to explore the ways reproduction is lived alongside and in the context of illness and wellness.

We invite papers on the above, which may include but are not limited to the following themes:

  • Uncertainty
  • Diagnosis and screening
  • Symptom monitoring and management
  • Assisted and selective reproductive technologies
  • Risk
  • In/fertility and reproductive loss
  • Reproductive timing and spacing
  • Pregnancy
  • Biomedical innovations and medical management
  • Intersections of age, gender, ethnicity, disease, reproductive events

Submitted papers include:
‘Governed by time’: the strange temporalities of fertility and reproduction in Turner Syndrome. Kriss Fearon, Centre for Reproduction Research, De Montfort University

Hoping for the best? Making reproductive choices in the context of mitochondrial disease, Dr Cathy Herbrand, Centre for Reproduction Research, De Montfort University

Endometriosis and anticipated infertility: negotiating conception in the context of diagnostic uncertainty. Prof. Nicky Hudson, Centre for Reproduction Research, De Montfort University

Parenting in the context of a chronic condition: the experience of mothers living with Ankylosing Spondylitis. Dr Helene Mitchell, Centre for Reproduction Research, De Montfort University

For more information, please contact Nicky Hudson on

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