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Sex, contraception and abortion across the Iron Curtain

Informacje ogólne

Kod przedmiotu: 3102-FSCA Kod Erasmus / ISCED: 14.7 / (0314) Socjologia i kulturoznawstwo
Nazwa przedmiotu: Sex, contraception and abortion across the Iron Curtain
Jednostka: Instytut Etnologii i Antropologii Kulturowej
Grupy: I rok studiów magisterskich
III rok studiów licencjackich
Moduł L5: Antropologia polityczna i ekonomiczna
Punkty ECTS i inne: (brak)
zobacz reguły punktacji
Język prowadzenia: angielski
Rodzaj przedmiotu:


Skrócony opis:

This course examines the 20th century cultures of sex, contraception and abortion across the Iron Curtain from historical and anthropological perspectives. It traces national and international, historical and contemporary trajectories of contraceptive technologies, birth control activism and sexual and reproductive practices, with particular focus on the global North, especially Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and North America.

Pełny opis:

Reproductive rights, and particularly the right to contraception and abortion are amongst those “unconsolidated rights” that continue to generate ongoing social controversy and are particularly subject to retraction in context of rising political conservatism. This course fosters better understanding of these controversies by tracing the national and international, historical and contemporary trajectories of contraceptive technologies, birth control activism and sexual and reproductive practices across the Iron Curtain. These trajectories are approached from a gender and intersectional perspective. Materials include a selection of academic literature on the gendered history of contraception, primary sources, documentaries and visual material.


Bart, Pauline. 1987. "Seizing the means of reproduction: An illegal feminist abortion collective – how and why it worked." Qualitative Sociology 10(4):339-357

Boston Women's Health Book Collective. 1973. Our bodies, ourselves. A healthbook for women. New York: Simon and Schuster

Drezgić, Rada. "The politics of abortion and contraception". Sociologija 46(2):98-114.

Dupont, Wannes. 2014. “Catholics and sexual change in Flanders. In: Sexual Revolutions, edited by Gert Hekma, Alain Giami, 81-98. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan

Fisher, Kate, and Simon Szreter. 2003. "“They prefer withdrawal”: the choice of birth control in Britain, 1918-1950." Journal of Interdisciplinary History XXXIX (2):263-29

Fishman, Jennifer R., Mamo, Laura. 2001. "What’s in a disorder: A cultural analysis of medical and pharmaceutical constructions of male and female sexual dysfunction."Women & Therapy 24(1/2):179-193.

Harris, Alana. 2018. "Introduction: The summer of ’68 – beyond the secularization thesis". In The Schism of ’68. Catholicism, contraception and “Humanae Vitae” in Europe, 1945-1975, edited by Alana Harris, 1-20. Cham: Palgrave McMillan

Hartman, Betsy. 2016 [1987]. Sterilization and abortion. In Reproductive rights and wrongs. The global politics of population control. Chicago: Heymarket Books

Herzog, Dagmar. 2006. "East Germany's Sexual Evolution," in Socialist Modern, edited by Paul Betts and Katherine Pence, 71-95. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Herzog, Dagmar. 2018. "Afterword: Looking for love". In The Schism of ’68. Catholicism, contraception and “Humanae Vitae” in Europe, 1945-1975, edited by Alana Harris, 349-360. Cham: Palgrave McMillan

Hilevych, Yuliya. 2015. "Abortion and gender relationships in Ukraine, 1955–1970." The History of the Family 20 (1):86-105

Ignaciuk, Agata, Teresa Ortiz-Gómez, and Esteban Rodríguez Ocaña. 2014. "Doctors, women and circulation of knowledge on oral contraceptives in Spain: 1940s-1970s." In Gendered drugs and medicine. Historical and socio-cultural perspectives, edited by Teresa Ortiz-Gómez and María Jesús Santesmases, 133-152. Farnham: Ashgate

Ignaciuk, Agata. 2018. "Love in the time of El Generalísimo: Debates about the pill in Spain before and after Humanae Vitae". In The Schism of ’68. Catholicism, contraception and “Humanae Vitae” in Europe, 1945-1975, edited by Alana Harris, 229-250. Cham: Palgrave McMillan

Ignaciuk, Agata. 2018. "Paradox of the pill: oral contraceptives in Spain and Poland (1960s–1970s) ". In: Children by choice? Changing values, reproduction, and family planning in the 20th century, edited by Ann-Katrin Gembries, Theresia Theuke and Isabel Heinemann, 123-143. Berlin: De Gruyter

Kaplan, Laura. 1998. "Beyond safe and legal. The lessons of JANE." In Abortion wars. A half century of struggle, edited by Rickie Solinger, 33-41. Berkley: University of California Press

Kline, Wendy. 2010. Bodies of knowledge: sexuality, reproduction, and women's health in the second wave. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kościańska, Agnieszka. 2016. "Sex on equal terms? Polish sexology on women’s emancipation and “good sex” from the 1970s to the present." Sexualities 19 (1-2):236-256

Kościańska, Agnieszka. 2018. "Humanae Vitae, Birth Control and the Forgotten History of the Catholic Church in Poland." In The Schism of ’68. Catholicism, contraception and “Humanae Vitae” in Europe, 1945-1975, edited by Alana Harris, 187-208. Cham: Palgrave McMillan

Kuźma-Markowska, Sylwia. 2011. "An unexpected continuity: voluntary and compulsory sterilization in the rhetoric of the pre- and post-World War II Polish birth control movement." East Central Europe 38:97-114

Lišková, Kateřina. 2016. “Sex under Socialism: From Emancipation of Women to Normalized Families in Czechoslovakia”, Sexualities. 19 (1/2): 211–235

Marks, Lara. 1998. "A “cage of ovulating females”: the history of the early oral contraceptive pill clinical trials, 1950-1959." In Molecuralizing biology and medicine. New practices and alliances. 1910s-1970s, edited by Soraya de Chaderevian and HarmkeKamminga, 221-247. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers

Molyneaux, Heather. 2011. "Controlling conception: images of women, safety, sexuality, and the pill in the sixties." In Gender, health, and popular culture: historical perspectives, edited by Cheryl Lynn KrasnickWarsh, 65-89. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Murphy, Michelle. 2012. "Assembling protocol feminism." In Seizing the means of reproduction. Entanglements of feminism, health and technoscience, 25-67. Durham: Duke University Press

Oudshoorn, Nelly. 2003. "Designing technology and masculinity. Challenging the invisibility of male reproductive bodies in scientific medicine". In: The male pill. A biography of a technology in the making, 3-18. Durham: Duke University Press

Oudshoorn, Nelly. 2003. "How men came to be included in the contraceptive research agenda". In: The male pill. A biography of a technology in the making, 19-51. Durham: Duke University Press

Randall, Amy E. 2011. "“Abortion will deprive you of happiness!”: Soviet reproductive politics in the post-Stalin era." Journal of Women's History 23 (3):13-38

Reagan, Leslie J. 2000. "Crossing the border for abortions: California activists, Mexican clinics, and the creation of a feminist health agency in the 1960s." Feminist Studies 26 (2):323-348

Santow, Gigi. 1993. "Coitus interruptus in the twentieth century." Population and Development Review 19 (4):767-792

Schoen, Joanna. 2001. "Between choice and coercion. Women and the politics of sterilization in North Carolina, 1929-1975. " Journal of Women’s History 13(1):132-156.

Scott, Joan W. 1986. "Gender: a useful category of historical analysis." The American Historical Review 91 (5):1053-1075

Scott, Joan W. 2010. "Gender: still a useful category of analysis?” Diogenes 225(7): 7-14

Sethna, Christabelle; Doull, Marion. 2013. "Spatial disparities and travel to freestanding abortion clinics in Canada. " Women's Studies International Forum 38: 52-62

Varsa, Eszter. 2017. "The Gypsy population is constantly growing. Roma and the politics of reproduction in Cold War Hungary". In From the midwife’s bag to the patient’s file. Public health in Eastern Europe, edited by Heike Karge, Friederike Kind-Kovács and Sara Bernasconi, 263-291. Budapest: CEU Press

Yuval-Davis, Nira. 2006. "Intersectionality and feminist politics." Journal of Women's Studies 13 (3):193-209

Efekty uczenia się:

Students learn to apply a gender perspective to the analysis of 20th century discourses, debates, and practices related to sex, contraception, abortion. They also develop a set of skills useful in the development of their own research projects, including:

• Giving and receiving constructive criticism

• Participating in group discussions

• Critical reading and summarizing scholarly literature, primary sources, and visual materials

• Presentation of their own work in oral form

Po ukończeniu zajęć studenci potrafią:

- analitycznie myśleć i dokonywać obserwacji i krytyki przemian społeczno-kulturowych

- posługiwać się wybranym językiem obcym na poziomie B2+ Europejskiego Systemu Opisu Kształcenia Językowego

- posługiwać się specjalistyczną terminologią z zakresu etnologii i antropologii kulturowej w języku obcym

Metody i kryteria oceniania:

Class participation – 30%

You are expected to actively participate in class discussions. The instructor will mark your participation in each session.

Assignment 1: Summaries of the readings– 40%

You are expected to read the articles and chapters assigned for each week and actively participate in class discussions. Before each class, please submit a 150-300 word critical summary of each reading by email to a.ignaciuk2@uw.edu.pl. The summary should contain the main ideas and arguments of the reading and you can also include your personal opinionabout the text.

Assignment 2: Final presentation – 30%

You are expected to prepare a 10-15 minute presentation on a topic of your choice related to the course. The presentations will be held during two final sessions of the course. On the day you present, please send your presentation by email to a.ignaciuk2@uw.edu.pl.


Assessment of the written and oral assignments will be based on the criteria of: originality, creativity, visual resources used, linking your content to the issues and themes raised during the course, formal aspects (adjusting to the assigned time/word number, timeliness)

Przedmiot nie jest oferowany w żadnym z aktualnych cykli dydaktycznych.
Opisy przedmiotów w USOS i USOSweb są chronione prawem autorskim.
Właścicielem praw autorskich jest Uniwersytet Warszawski.