Archive for March 26th, 2011

Biopower & Birth Control: Queering the Racialization of Reproductive Rights

New York University
Tuesday, March 29
7:00pm – 9:00pm
1 Washington Square North, Parlor

Zena Watson, Pride in Practice
Johannah Westmacott, Counterpublic Collective

Mito and Juanes

Roundtable participants will be following Michel Foucault and Angela Davis in the context of queering the current abortion climate. Foucault’s concept of biopower argues that modern conceptions of sexuality enable power to exert social control at the level of both the body and the population. Reproduction certainly falls into the realm of sexuality, and we can examine how the abortion debate is clearly implicated in conversations of social control. Davis places the idea that reproductive rights ensure women of color’s control over their bodies in context of wider concerns with the “white race” and the American population. By exposing the ways in which “reproductive rights” dovetail with racist formations, she connects this employment of rights to power’s concerns over population, connecting the theme of reproductive rights to white supremacy and, ultimately, to Foucault’s conception of biopower.


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