Paper and Presentation on Birth Simulators

My work, “High-fidelity Birth Simulators in American Culture: An Ecofeminist Analysis,” has been accepted and will appear in the March 2012 issue of The Journal of American Culture.

I’m also slated to present the work on Thursday April 12 at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association conference, in Boston.

Here’s a summary of the paper:

“High-fidelity,” mannequin birth simulators are being promoted in the United States as valuable teaching tools for educating healthcare workers such as nurses about the birth process. These mannequins simulate an oppressive, disempowering medical conceptualization of women’s biology which perpetuates the long standing patriarchal understanding of the womb as a source of pathology. Such simulations have the effect of educating practitioners not in birth in of itself, but in a disempowering vision of women and birth. In both cases, birth simulation joins medicalized childbirth in implementing what feminist philosopher Val Plumwood calls the “logic of dualism,” which has the effect of portraying birthing women’s consciousness and agency as impediments to successful birth.

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