In/Fertile Environments:

Making Kin in a Time of Crisis

A collaborative project

Intersections between reproduction and the environment are multiple, timely and vital to the present condition and future potential of human life.

Connections between human reproduction and environmental crises have traditionally been most apparent in public and academic debates around the impact of human population numbers on the natural world. This project seeks to move beyond that well-worn debate, to focus on how human reproduction and environmental issues are connected in people’s perceptions and lived experiences, whether in terms of reproductive decision-making, involvement in activism, the effects of environmental harms on reproductive and child health, the symbolism of children in a fragile future or the place of norms of kinship and reproduction in perpetuating climate crisis and environmental injustice. It seeks to do so through applying the environmental reproductive justice framework to new settings, shifting the focus away from the individual and onto the reproductive infrastructures (Murphy 2013) and environmental conditions that shape people’s ability to have children, to care for them and to advocate for and with them. Also inspired by the environmental reproductive justice framework’s focus on social and cultural reproduction, it does this by asking what the existential threats of climate change and biodiversity loss mean for imaginaries and practices of reproduction and kin-making and by considering what part norms of kinship have played in creating the conditions for this ecological crisis.

Contact us:

Katharine Dow

Heather McMullen –

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