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  • “Reproductive Health and Parental Responsibility” convegno internazionale 23 e 24 aprile 2018

    Monday, 23 April and Tuesday 24 April 2018

    Sala Ignazio Ambrogio, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures
    Roma Tre University, Via del Valdco di S. Paolo 19, 00146 Rome

    Monday 23 April 2018

    14.30 Welcome and Introductions
    Giorgio De Marchis (Head of Department, Modern Languages, Roma Tre University)

    15.00 Keynote Lecture

    Rachel Bowlby (Comparative Literature, UCL)
    “How Not to Have Babies: Early Arguments about New Reproductive Technologies”

    17.00 Panel 1: Twentieth Century Reproductive Imaginaries
    Chair: Martina Caruso (John Cabot University Rome)

    Roberto Mordacci (Philosophy, San Raffaele University, Milan)
    “Reproductive Utopias and Dystopias: More, Campanella and Huxley”

    Florian Mussgnug (Comparative Literature, UCL)
    “Planetary Parental Responsibility: Lessons from 1974”

    Tuesday 24 April 2018

    9.30 Panel 2: Parenthood, Gender and the Future of Reproduction
    Chair: James Wilson (Philosophy and Health Humanities, UCL)

    Simona Corso
     (English, Roma Tre University)
    “Birth: Stories from Contemporary Literature and Film”

    Aarathi Prasad (Biosciences, UCL)
    “What is a Parent? How Technology could change the Future of Reproduction”

    11.30 Artist’s talk: “Reproductive Futures – how will the stories we tell evolve?”
    Zoe Papadopulou (London)

    14.30 Panel 3: Bioethics: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives
    Chair: Iolanda Plescia (English, La Sapienza University, Rome)

    Loredana Persampieri (Philosophy of Law, LUMSA University Rome)
    “Surrogacy: Ethical and Legal Issues”

    Helen O’Neill (Reproductive Genetics, UCL)
    “Editing our Evolution”

    James Wilson (Philosophy and Health Humanities, UCL)
    “Is it unethical to have ‘too many’ or ‘too few’ children?”

    17.00 Carmen Dell’Aversano (University of Pisa and CIRQUE)
    Response and Conclusions


    Abstract: New reproductive technologies have profoundly altered the demarcations of parenthood and have shown up the limitations of conventional perspectives on parental rights and responsibilities. The potential separation of biological from social parenthood necessitates new philosophical, imaginative and legal frameworks. Anthropogenic climate change also calls for a radical re-orientation of reproductive ethics and raises urgent and uncomfortable questions about population growth and uncontrolled human procreation. In this context, literature and the arts may shed light on the complex and changing emotions and experiences of parenting. Creative critical responses to new reproductive technologies may also bring into focus a variety of philosophical and religious perspectives, and draw attention to global patterns of inequality and cultural difference.

    Our two-day symposium brings together perspectives from a variety of disciplines and fields, including genetics, reproductive healthcare, philosophy, gender studies, and literary and cultural history, which will be juxtaposed with the perspectives of creative artists. We explore the changing social expectations around parenting and reproductive health and pay attention to narratives of parental responsibility, in research and in the arts, but also to the ways in which uncertainty prompts new ethical and legal approaches.

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