Early Bird Registration Closes In



The inspiration for our conference title, “Re-worlding Reproduction: Navigating Emerging Knowledge, Politics, and Justice,” springs from the recent essay by Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatsheni (2023). In his insightful piece, Ndlovu-Gatsheni advocates for a response to the entrenched colonial matrix of power through a process of “re-worlding” from the vantage point of the Global South. This re-worlding involves harnessing the forces of knowledge, power, resistance, and aspirations for freedom.

Our upcoming 2024 conference, “Re-worlding Reproduction,” aims to bridge the realms of reproduction practices and politics with ongoing global dialogues centred around decolonisation. This event serves as an invitation to esteemed scholars specialising in reproduction, hailing from diverse fields such as anthropology, sociology, public health, bioethics, STS (Science and Technology Studies), and studies of race, ethnicity, and gender.

“Re-worlding Reproduction” spotlights the pivotal contributions of scholars from the Global South. Their valuable perspectives challenge the dominant frames of reference surrounding reproduction in social theory. This includes shedding light on scholarly endeavours that disrupt prevailing narratives entrenched in biomedicine, health policy, and broader social discourses.

This conference is thoughtfully organised by two initiatives based in South Africa: “Re-imagining Reproduction” (housed at the University of Pretoria) and “Emerging Assisted Reproductive Markets in Southern Africa” (a collaborative effort involving Wits University, Monash University, and the University of Amsterdam).

The conference’s focal themes encompass:

  • Reproductive Knowledges
  • Rights, Justice, and Ethics
  • Environments of (In)fertility
  • Globalisation, Mobility, and Market Dynamics
  • Intersections of Race, Nation, and Governance
  • Kinship and Care

Our event will be hosted at the distinguished Future Africa campus of the University of Pretoria. While the primary mode is an on-site gathering, provisions will be in place to accommodate hybrid presentations, embracing the evolving nature of scholarly discourse and exchange.

16-19 September 2024


Dr. Wisal Ahmed

Dr. Wisal Ahmed

Dr. Wisal Ahmed is a medical professional and public health expert with over two decades of extensive experience in addressing women's health concerns in resource-limited areas across ten African countries.
Prof. Dána-Ain Davis

Prof. Dána-Ain Davis

Dána-Ain Davis is Professor of Urban Studies at Queens College and on the faculty of the PhD Programs in Anthropology and Critical Psychology. She is the director of the Center for the Study of Women and Society at the Graduate Center.
Dr. Angela Akol

Dr. Angela Akol

Angela Akol, MD, PhD, is a resourceful development program leader with 20 years’ experience directing and implementing health and development programs at national and community levels in developing countries.


Reproduction entails practices of life-making and life-sustaining toward imagined future worlds. Reproduction is integral to contemporary politics, involving contestations across the globe about reproductive practices, how to sustain habitable and dignified life, and what the future world should look like. Reproduction is central to social, political, and economic life and central to social analysis and social theory, covering issues as varied as the rights to abortion and contraception, the medicalisation of birth, the rights of queer families, assisted reproductive technologies, race and class in reproductive labour, and the economic and racial stratification of reproductive health.

But which scholars and whose reproductive lives are centred? These questions challenge us to rethink the conceptual toolkit of social theory. From where we are situated in Southern Africa, reproduction often remains overdetermined by powerful and moralising frameworks within biomedicine, global health, development, and climate change. This conference presents an opportunity to reconsider US and Eurocentric hegemony in the production of knowledge within reproductive studies.

This international conference aims to include a multiplicity of reproductive worlds, practices, and futures, alongside a reflexive analysis of the structures and politics that shape reproductive studies itself. The title of the conference takes its name from Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatsheni’s (2023) recent essay, where he points to the reproduction of the “coloniser’s model of the world” through a cognitive empire. We take inspiration from his appeal to “re-world” from the Global South, a process and practice of world-making (worlding) via “knowledge, power, resistance, and dreams of freedom.” We welcome contributions across a range of disciplines in reproductive studies, including anthropology, sociology, public health, science and technology studies, and queer, ethnic, and gender studies. We aim to foreground Global South scholarship, their/our contributions to challenging hegemonic framings of reproduction in social theory, and highlighting work that disrupts powerful narratives in biomedicine, health policy, and social discourse.

We invite submissions in the following formats:

  1. Papers by single or multiple authors. Submissions shall require abstracts of max. 250 words (toward a 15-minute presentation) and indicate which of the questions below the paper addresses.
  2. Closed panels with between 3 and 5 speakers and a discussant. Submissions include a panel theme description of max. 150 words, abstract and speaker details for each presentation in the panel, and details of discussant. Panels shall be about 90 minutes.
  3. Roundtables with 1 discussant and between 2 and 7 presenters. We invite roundtable submissions for scholars, artists, activists, practitioners, or those working in non-governmental organisations, policy, or advocacy. Roundtables do not require formal papers and have conversation and discussion as their aim. Roundtables shall be about 1 hour – 90 minutes. Submissions include title and abstract of max. 250 words and speaker details for all presenters and discussant.

We will be running parallel sessions. Submissions should address one of the following themes:

  • Reproductive knowledges: How are ‘new’ and ‘old’ knowledges of reproduction (re)shaping practices of life-making and life-sustaining? How do we challenge the colonial conceptual apparatus toward more just reproductive futures?
  • Rights, justice, ethics: What are the enduring challenges to movements for reproductive justice and rights? And how are communities, such as LGBTQI+ and queer communities, those with disabilities, marginalised racial and ethnic groups, among others, navigating and envisioning reproductive justice?
  • (In)fertile environments: How are ecological challenges affecting reproduction and reproductive futures? How are people sustaining and remaking social ties, kin, and generations in contexts of changing environments?
  • Globalisation, mobilities, and markets: How are the legacies of colonialism and racial capitalism remade in contemporary reproductive markets? What new forms of reproductive labour are emerging?
  • Race, nation, and governance: How can new knowledges of reproduction in the South challenge oppressive forms of reproductive governance? What are the dominating discourses, in media and otherwise, that shape and/or reflect ideologies of race, nation and family?
  • Kin and care: How are kin and care networks dynamically remade and stretched within precarious contexts? What new forms of kin-making challenge and remake reproductive norms?

Round 2 of submissions are due 15 March 2024. Please visit our FAQ page for information, such as scholarships, language of presentation, and on our plans for an Early Career Scholar Workshop. For any further questions, please contact info@reworldingreproduction.org.za


With the Wenner Gren Foundation’s support, we offer conference bursaries to five scholars from and living in Sub-Saharan Africa and five to scholars from and based at institutions in the Global South other than SSA. Please refer to the OED list here. Applications will be evaluated based on innovation and rigour as reflected in the abstract, financial need and likely value of attending the meeting. A subset of our steering committee will be charged with evaluating bursary applicants. The awards are aimed at PhD candidates and postgraduate fellows, but not exclusively so – Early Career Researchers (within 8 years of completing their PhD) may also apply. Preference will be given to applicants who do not have access to other funds and are from low-income countries and institutions. 

The bursary covers:

  • Conference registration fee
  • Accommodation (4 nights at Future Africa Campus in a twin room)
  • Flights (economy) and shuttle services to and from the airport
  • Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

NB: Bursaries are awarded at the discretion of the steering committee and their decision is final.


  1. Applicants must have an abstract accepted for the Re-worlding Reproduction: Emerging Politics, Knowledge and Justice  Conference.
  2. Applicants must be registered or employed at a university or institute of higher education.
  3. The applicants must ask their supervisor or HOD at their institution to confirm in writing their employment or enrolment, that they would benefit from the conference and do not have any other funding source.
  4. Applicants must provide a 2-page curriculum vitae and a  motivation letter on how attending this international conference will enhance their personal and academic development (max 200 words).
  5. Successful applicants must attend the full four (4) days conference and participate in the social programs.
  6. A 300-word minimum conference report will have to be provided within 2 weeks of the conference to the organisers. The organisers reserve the right to publish this report with photos on their website and all other media outlets.

Kindly submit all your documents before 15 April 2024 to bursary@reworldingreproduction.org.za


Early Bird Registration Closes In


Early Bird Rates (1 March 2024 - 20 April 2024)

Regular Rates

Professional ZAR4 900
Fully Employed Individuals
Early Career Researchers ZAR3 500
Postdoctoral Fellows, Contracted Individuals, PhDs (who have received their degrees within the last 8yrs)
Students ZAR1 575
Registered PhD Candidates & Master's Students

Africa & Low Income Countries Rates

Professional ZAR2 600
Fully Employed Individuals
Early Career Researchers ZAR1 900
Postdoctoral Fellows, Contracted Individuals, PhDs (who have received their degrees within the last 8yrs)
Students ZAR900
Registered PhD Candidates & Master's Students

Standard Rates (21 April 2024 - 1 July 2024)

Regular Rates

Professional ZAR5 250
Fully Employed Individuals
Early Career Researchers ZAR3 850
Postdoctoral Fellows, Contracted Individuals, PhDs (who have received their degrees within the last 8yrs)
Students ZAR1 750
Registered PhD Candidates & Master's Students

Africa & Low Income Countries Rates

Professional ZAR2 900
Fully Employed Individuals
Early Career Researchers ZAR2 100
Postdoctoral Fellows, Contracted Individuals, PhDs (who have received their degrees within the last 8yrs)
Students ZAR1 000
Registered PhD Candidates & Master's Students

Please Note: Registration fees exclude flights, accommodation, visa fees, and travel insurance.

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