Studies in the Culture of Origins, Fertility and Creation

Edited by Elke Grenzer and Jan Plecash
birth_5This book presents interdisciplinary studies of birth as a social phenomenon and symbolic order whose signs can be read in the practices, contested histories and controversies surrounding birth in professional settings and everyday life. Contributors offer cases in which the interpretive conflicts surrounding birth can be related to a range of problems and tensions concerning the place of origin, creation, beginnings and renewal in social life.

Table of Contents:

Elke Grenzer and Jan Plecash: Introduction

Paternalism’s Offspring

Beth Blum: Sanitized Sensationalism: The Coney Island Incubator Babies

Kevin Dowler: (Re)Imagining Birth Through New Media Technologies

Amanda Delong: Originally Yours: Genetic Discourse and the Construction of Family in the Era of Donor Insemination

Jan Plecash: More than One Beginning: On the Birth of the Parent

Dis-abling Birth

Saeed Hydaralli: The Trouble with Infertility: Motherhood and the Symbolic Order

Melissa Atkin: Better Off Dead: Ethical Disabilities in Wrongful Birth and Wrongful Life Jurisprudence

Nadya Burton: Expecting the Unexpected: Midwifery, Control and the Unknown in a Changing Birth Culture

Commixtures: Travesties of Midwifery

Tristanne Connolly: Queering Man-Midwifery in Enlightenment Britain

Elke Grenzer: Midwifery, Obstetrics and Birth’s Hybrid


Kieran Bonner: Birth Announcements, Naming and the Sex/Gender Distinction

Gordon Thompson: “Through the Morning Door”: Birth, Style, Approaches to Life

Stanley Raffel: Birth and the End of Absolutes

Alan Blum: Born Again: Why Two Births Are Better than One