Symposium on Birth Practices and Reproductive Rights to Be Held

Posted: October 6, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: October 3, 2009 at 9:46 am

“Perinatal,” a day-long symposium to be held in Harris Theater and Mason Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 7, will explore the current climate surrounding birth in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

Sponsored by the School of Art, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Women and Gender Studies, the symposium will include presentations by activists, academics and practitioners and will feature film viewings, dance and visual art.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

The symposium was organized by Jessica Clements, an MFA student at Mason, who also teaches drawing, painting and aesthetics. Clements’ MFA thesis exhibition, “Birth,” will be on display during the event. This exhibit showcases her paintings investigating labor, childbirth and postpartum.

Symposium speakers include Henci Goer, Robbie Davis-Floyd, Shafia Monroe, and Debra Pascali-Bonaro. Events include an audience-led reading of “Birth: a Play” by Karen Brody and a screening of “Orgasmic Birth.”

Issues to be addressed during the symposium will be questions of birth as a reproductive rights issue and as a feminist issue. The symposium will also present current and past approaches of birth activism and advocacy.  The symposium aims to create conversations across disciplines and to engage the public, health care workers and the academy.

Details about the program are available on the Perinatal web site at

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