Fictions of Reproduction: Representations of Contraception and Abortion in Film and Television / SCMS, 21-25 March 2012, Boston

full name / name of organization: 
Megan Minarich / Vanderbilt University

This panel is organized around film and television programs that treat the issues of contraception and/or abortion in some facet. The texts in question might address conception, pregnancy, and/or childbirth in the absence or contraception, or it/they may be more invested in presenting measures for or concern with the prevention of pregnancy. Films/programs may range from educational to fictional, and may be generically diverse (melodrama, comedy, film noir, etc.). They may also vary in terms of national origin and time period. Here are some potential topics/questions:

-To what extent is contraception/abortion politicized? In what way(s)? To what end(s)?
-How do generic concerns affect how the topics are presented?
-What is the relationship between contraception/abortion and censorship? First wave feminism? The birth control movement? Various social or religious groups, such as the Catholic Church or social conservatives? Women's agency? Eugenics? World War? The economy?
-What similarities/differences do you notice between the earlier birth control films and contemporary treatments of contraception/abortion in film/television? What accounts for these similarities/differences?
-How does national sociohistorical context affect the treatment of these topics? How does this vary between different national traditions?
-What formal innovations do you find to be associated with contraception/abortion?

If you are interested in this panel, please send a cv an abstract of 250 words to Megan Minarich at by 20 August 2011.