CFP--Call for edited collection: Birth, Loss, and Trouble: Women of Color Reflect (deadline May 17, 2013)

full name / name of organization: 
Editors: Shanna Benjamin, Tanya Clark, and Mendi Obadike
contact email: 

Despite statistics that show a staggering number of pregnancies ending in miscarriage, pre-term labor, selective abortion, or stillbirth, the popular imaginary still portrays a healthy child as the inevitable outcome of nine months of pregnancy. For many women of color, the challenge of having a non-normative reproductive experience is coupled with the challenges of finding community or negotiating specific cultural attitudes toward birth. Do we feel isolated from communities where the women are expected to be white? Are we surprised to identify across cultural lines? Do we have specific cultural expectations to meet or overcome? Do our communities prepare us with useful resources for facing difficulties?

To address a dearth in scholarship on how women of color struggle with (in)fertility, difficult pregnancies, and loss, this collection will bring together representative narratives of academic and professional women of color as they reflect on their experiences with assisted reproduction, miscarriage, preterm labor, and adoption, and the impact these experiences and interventions have on their lives and family units. By combining scholarly essays, creative nonfiction, and autobiographical accounts, this collection will appeal to readers seeking informed, well-written, and thoughtful expressions of the complex realities behind baby making for a cadre of women reared to believe that they might, with planning, fortitude, and a healthy ovarian reserve, have it all.

We invite 250- to 300-word abstracts that propose scholarly essays, creative nonfiction, or autobiographical accounts that address the following and related topics:

• (Re)defining motherhood for women who have experienced miscarriage and preterm labor
• (Re)defining the language and meaning of pregnancy, fertility/infertility, and loss
• Pregnancy: popular culture vs. material realities
• Culture, conception, and loss
• Finding community across cultural lines
• Faith
• Cultural resources for facing loss and other troubles
• Adoption
• Pregnancy after 35
• Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
• Tenure clock vs. biological clock
• Surrogacy (traditional and/or gestational)
• Sexuality, pregnancy, and motherhood

Please send submissions and queries to:

All submissions must be submitted in .docx or .rtf format by 17 May 2013