Cyborg Conception: technologized reproduction and posthuman families in literary and cultural imagination
'Cyborg Conception: technologized reproduction and posthuman families in literary and cultural imagination' is an ongoing project intervening in the interdisciplinary field of the medical humanities by understanding the cultural mediation of assisted reproduction and donor conception for solo parents by choice.
2022-2023. Experimental Humanities Collaborative Network
2022-2023. Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) / Wellcome Trust - Translation
2020-2021. Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) / Wellcome Trust
Ronald Tress Prize
Overview of the Cyborg Conception Project
This project has seen collaborative engagement with the Donor Conception Network, Bourn Hall Clinic, University College London, The Wellcome, Single Parents Rights UK, The Stork and I, Solo Parents by Choice UK, and individuals connected to the donor conception community including: Mel Johnson, Shalaka Kamerkar, Nancy Milligan, Genevieve Roberts, Rebecca Ward, Imogen Foxell, Ms Alice Smith, Suzy Buckley, Emma Ward, Ruth Talbot, Natasza Lentner, and Thanos Papathanasiou
Click here to read the booklet 'Independent Family Planning: Choosing Solo Motherhood through Gamete Donation. A guide for fertility healthcare professionals' or click here to learn more about the booklet.
'Independent Family Planning: Choosing Solo Motherhood through Gamete Donation. A guide for fertility healthcare professionals' (Wellcome, March 2023)
'Fatherlessness, sperm donors and ‘so what?’ parentage: arguing against the immorality of donor conception through ‘world literature’, Medical Humanities, 25 April 2022. doi: 10.1136/medhum-2021-012328 (part of the ISSF/Wellcome Cyborg Conception funded project)
''Plan A''. Donor Conception Network Journal, 25 (2021), pp. 13-14
2023. The Problem of Anonymity: A Film Showing of Offspring (2001) and a Discussion of Donor Anonymity in the Digital Age. 24 March 2023, 18:00 — 21:00. Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square, Cinema.
2023. STAG: Solo-Parent Talk and Action Group. Community Café. Organised with Natasza Lentner (admin for the Facebook groups Solo Parents by Choice UK), Ruth Talbot (founder of Single Parent Rights), and Dr Suzy Buckley from UCL. 6th February 2023,
2022. 'Effecting Change: Café for Solo Parents by Choice', Being Human Festival, November. Co-organiser alongside Dr Harriet Barratt.
2023: 'Solo Mothers via Gamete Donation – Tackling Stigma and Prioritizing Lived-Experience', An Unwell World?
Anthropology in a Speculative Mode, SOAS
2023: 'Cyborg Conception', ISSF Celebration Event, Birkbeck College University of London, 29 March.
2022: 'Fatherlessness, sperm donors and ‘so what?’ parentage', Critical Creative Innovative Thinking at Aga Khan University, August 18.
2021: 'Barren Planets and the Ovum-like Death Star: Family, Fertility and Assisted Reproduction in Star Wars (1977-2019)', SFRA, June 21.
Cyborg Conception: Cultural and Critical Responses to Solo Motherhood by Choice (under contract with Palgrave Macmillan, due late 2023)
Reproduction is one of the most fundamental biological functions of living organisms; for humans, sexual reproduction is not only a pathway to genetic offspring, but – for many – a rite of passage. The importance of reproductive health is underscored in society and highlighted in sexual education curricula; yet family planning discourse is commonly limited to heteronormative nuclear family constructs. Donor gamete conception (donation of sperm and eggs) has enabled the development of diverse family models for years. Today, many women are choosing to conceive solo through donor conception, a decision which is lauded as feminist empowerment but also demonised as unethical. Cyborg Conception offers a cultural analysis of some key debates on solo motherhood by choice and considers the ways in which family planning has changed in the contemporary. Written by an author who is both a solo mother through sperm donation and a scholar in the cultural history of assisted reproduction, this book offers an overview of how solo reproduction – or what could be called cyborg conception – is debated in the contemporary world.
2022: Fellow Royal Society for Public Health
2021: Professional membership: Donor Conception Network