Summerschool on Humanizing Birth: Launching Critical Midwifery Studies

Globally, the call for the humanization of childbirth is loud and urgent. The amount of childbirth related trauma, the rates of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality in BIPOC communities, and the lack of midwifery that is tailored to people of all genders, testify that we are getting something not quite right. Midwifery is often proposed as a way to ensure emotionally and physically safe care for all. While believing in the potential of midwifery, we must be radically critical of how midwifery itself is formed by past and present suppressive structures based on class, race, gender, and coloniality.

There is much research done on midwifery from a biomedical point of view, but there is not much engagement with current critical theory. Midwifery can only be a way to humanize childbirth, however, if we also study it from a critical humanities perspective so that we understand where we should intervene to create anti-capitalist, anti-racist, meaningful, inclusive and sustainable midwifery. In this summer school, taking place from 11 until 15th of July, we will therefore explore the potential of "Critical Midwifery Studies". Together, we will develop what a critical perspective on midwifery could be by translating and furthering insights from, among others, intersectional and transnational feminist theory, queer theory, marxist feminism, critical race theory, de- and postcolonial theory, and care ethics to midwifery. 

The summer school is organised by the Critical Midwifery Studies Collective, specifically by Anna Horn, Jason Marcus, Raquel Justiniano, Susana Ku, Priya Sharma, Madyasa Vijber, Hannah de Klerk, Noëmie Willemen and Rodante van der Waal (PhD University of Humanistic Studies). 

The summer school is co-hosted by the Chilean Observatory for Obstetric Violence (Michelle Sadler), the University of Cape Town (Jason Marcus), Department of Midwifery Science Amsterdam VUmc & AVAG (Hannah de Klerk & Bahareh Goodarzi), and includes a webinar by City University London (Anna Horn). 

More information and application on the website of the Utrecht Summerschool:

Information and application

To stay up to date with the Critical Midwifery Studies Collective, you can visit our website and follow us on instagram. 

In this international summer school, we will explore the potential of "Critical Midwifery Studies". Van 11 tot 15 juli 2022.