CFP: Information, Power, and Reproductive Health

Call for Chapter Proposals

Working Title: Information, Power, and Reproductive Health
Editors: Gina Schlesselman-Tarango (Des Moines University); Alanna Aiko Moore (University of California, San Diego); Renée Ann Rau (University of Southern California)
Submission Deadline: April 1, 2023
Publisher: Library Juice Press

Office hour: March 1, 2023, 10:00 – 11:00 am PST.  Join the Information, Power, and Reproductive Health editorial team for an informal office hour. Pop in to say hi and ask us your questions about the call for proposals. 

Book Description

Information, Power, and Reproductive Health will encourage readers to explore the inextricable intersection of reproductive health information and power. Rooted in a framework of reproductive justice, it will explore the ways in which power plays a central role in how reproductive health information is created, controlled, withheld, and shared. Deeply entrenched ideologies about which bodies are deserving or undeserving of reproductive care, which facets of reproductive life are worthy of research, which issues are taboo or frequently dismissed, and how to control bodies considered unruly all affect what health information is easily accessible or perhaps hidden from those who need it. Legislative, bureaucratic, medical-scientific, economic, and familial systems and structures shape reproductive health information, and framing information production and consumption as a social act can help us to trace these structural and ideological forces in the reproductive health landscape and locate transgressive sites of information sharing that speak back to power. Chapters will address the continued and more-urgent-than-ever interest in reproductive health, feminism(s), womanism, critical theory, and praxis in librarianship and information studies. We aim to develop an essential volume for librarians, healthcare practitioners, academics, advocates, and activists involved in the study of or street-level organizing around reproductive health in this critical era of reproductive crisis.

We seek proposals that demonstrate a substantive exploration of power and intersectionality, with attention to race, gender, sexuality, class, (dis)ability, and the like. We welcome all genres, from empirical research and critical analysis to personal narrative and autoethnography (and everything in between).

We welcome submissions from first-time authors and authors working outside academia. In the spirit of community, contributors will have the opportunity to be in regular contact with editors and with each other throughout the writing and publication process. Authors will also have the opportunity to both review and have their work reviewed by fellow contributors.

Potential Topics Include (but are not limited to)

  • The history of reproductive health information. For example:
    • Archival or library holdings
    • Close readings of historically influential resources
    • Lasting impacts of absent, erroneous, or discriminatory reproductive health information
    • Underground information-sharing networks of the past
  • The reproductive body, information, and the state. For example:
    • Information in relation to biopower, population control, or pronatalism
    • Forced hysterectomies/sterilization
    • Government records
    • Legislation
    • Funding for reproductive health research
    • Various forms of state and corporate surveillance (e.g., period tracking apps)
  • Reproductive health information and medical institutions. For example:
    • Medical records and medical classification
    • Pathologized bodies
    • Patient consent and information sharing
    • Medicalization of queer bodies
    • Medical technologies, fertility treatments, and assisted reproductive technology
    • Cultural competence and information sharing
    • Marginalized communities’ relationship(s) to the medical establishment
    • Capitalism/neoliberalism/racism/classism, etc., in medical institutions
  • Health information and the taboo reproductive body. For example:
    • Deviations from the “normal” or “healthy” or “fertile” body
    • Heteronormative ideas regarding reproduction and parenthood
    • Reproductive information for people with disabilities or otherwise “unruly” bodies
    • Libraries providing access to “taboo” reproductive information and resources (e.g., tampons/pads, condoms, materials on menopause)
    • Access to reproductive health information for non-normative or queer individuals or families
  • Taking control of reproductive health information post-Roe. For example:
    • Library and archival collections, services, and resources
    • (Radical) reproductive justice as information practice
    • Narrative medicine and storytelling
    • Zines and graphic medicine
    • Social media and information sharing
    • Underground information-sharing networks

Important Dates and Anticipated Timeline (subject to change)

  • Office hour: March 1, 2023, 10:00 – 11:00 am PST.  Join the Information, Power, and Reproductive Health editorial team for an informal office hour. Pop in to say hi and ask us your questions about the call for proposals. 
  • Proposal due date: April 1, 2023
  • Notification of acceptance: May 1, 2023
  • First draft due: September 1, 2023
  • Anticipated publication date: 2025

How to Submit

Submit chapter proposals and brief author bio(s). Proposals should not exceed 500 words. 

Due to the political climate and nature of the collection’s subject matter, we respect that some contributors might choose to publish anonymously or using a pseudonym. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at info.power.rephealth (at) gmail (dot) com:

About the Editors

Gina Schlesselman-Tarango (she/her) is a health sciences librarian at Des Moines University. She holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology/Anthropology from Drake University, a masters of Social Science with an emphasis on Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Colorado Denver, and a masters of Library Science from the University of Denver. Her research interests include race and gender in librarianship, critical information literacy and peer learning in higher education, and the intersections of reproductive labor and information work. She is the editor of Topographies of Whiteness: Mapping Whiteness in LIS (Library Juice Press, 2017), has served as a journal editor and reviewer, authored peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and presented at numerous library science, gender studies, and higher education venues. She lives in Iowa with her people, cats, and chickens, and is a doula-in-training.

Alanna Aiko Moore is the Librarian for Sociology, Ethnic Studies, and Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Alanna holds a bachelor of arts in Sociology/Anthropology and Gender Studies from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR, and a master’s of Library and Information Science from Dominican University. Alanna has published book chapters and articles on queer parenting, cross cultural mentoring, emotional labor, activism, and issues affecting women of color librarians. She has worked in academic libraries for over 15 years and has presented at numerous conferences and organizations. Before librarianship, she worked at social justice-centered non-profits and community organizations.

Renée A. Rau is an Information Services Librarian at University of Southern California’s Norris Medical Library and the liaison to the Keck School of Medicine. She earned a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree at San José State University (SJSU), in 2020. In 2017, she earned an MA in 20th-century United States history, specializing in women’s and gender history, from Washington State University (WSU). Her current research interests include: Evidence Based Practice and information literacy instruction; Graphic Medicine and health humanities; and diversity, equity, and inclusion in health sciences librarianship.