Organized Panel Session
Rethinking Reproduction in a Diversifying East Asia: Cross-cultural and Historical Perspectives on the Past and Present, Part I & II
East Asia has faced significant challenges to biological and social reproduction in the past and present, with present challenges including: fertility decline, population aging, changing configuration of work and family in both rural and urban areas and across regions. This two-part panel series combines historical, social scientific, and literary perspectives to analyze ideas and practices of biological and social reproduction in China (Herrmann, Tan, Peng), Japan (Gagne, Lee), and South Korea (Freeman, Park).
The two panels discuss the geopolitical and biopolitical regime of population (Park), decision-making concerning pregnancy and childbirth (Gagne, Herrmann), politics of motherhood (Lee), revitalization of family (Freeman), tensions between productive and reproductive labor (Peng), and the (re)production of social class through (re)producing labor (Tan). Highlighting the centrality of reproduction and its gendered processes in three East Asian societies in the past and present, we explore how biological and social reproduction are entangled in larger political and socioeconomic processes and historically and culturally contingent. Following earlier generations of feminist scholars, we continue to undo dichotomies such as biological/social, public/private, and production/ reproduction.
Seven papers crossing disciplinary boundaries between history (Lee, Park), sociology and anthropology (Herrmann, Peng, Gagne, Freeman), and literature (Tan) will be commented on by a historical anthropologist (Shepherd) during the second panel of the series. This two-part panel series aims to generate interdisciplinary, inter-regional perspectives and stimulate cross-cultural and historical comparisons on reproduction in East Asia.