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Remaking Reproduction: African Health Workers in the Era of Population Control

Dr. Emily Callaci
January 15, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

With the invention and global dissemination of new forms of biomedical birth control in the 1960s, African health workers across the continent faced a shared predicament: they relied on international aid organizations that distributed medical resources in accordance with an agenda of population control, and yet they were members of communities in which the notion of population control was politically abhorrent, largely due to legacies of colonial racism. Dr. Emily Callaci's work examines the history of biomedical contraception in Africa from the perspective of nurses, doctors and field health workers who worked in the family planning movement. It shows how, in light of these intimate and geopolitical tensions surrounding population and birth control, family planning workers were not only health care providers but key public intellectuals and gatekeepers of Africa’s relationship with the outside world.

Dr. Callaci is an associate professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Currently, Dr. Callaci is working on two new publications, one of which focuses on reproductive technology and justice in Sub-Saharan Africa, and another analyzing the intellectual and social history of the Wages for Housework Movement in the 1970's. 


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