1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Anthropology and Reproduction

Edited By Sallie Han, Cecília Tomori Copyright 2022
    676 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    676 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of Anthropology and Reproduction is a comprehensive overview of the topics, approaches, and trajectories in the anthropological study of human reproduction. The book brings together work from across the discipline of anthropology, with contributions by established and emerging scholars in archaeological, biological, linguistic, and sociocultural anthropology. Across these areas of research, consideration is given to the contexts, conditions, and contingencies that mark and shape the experiences of reproduction as always gendered, classed, and racialized. Over 39 chapters, a diverse range of international scholars cover topics including:

    • Reproductive governance, stratification, justice, and freedom.
    • Fertility and infertility.
    • Technologies and imaginations.
    • Queering reproduction.
    • Pregnancy, childbirth, and reproductive loss.
    • Postpartum and infant care.
    • Care, kinship, and alloparenting.

    This is a valuable reference for scholars and upper-level students in anthropology and related disciplines associated with reproduction, including sociology, gender studies, science and technology studies, human development and family studies, global health, public health, medicine, medical humanities, and midwifery and nursing.


    Sallie Han and Cecília Tomori

    Part I Opening conversations in reproduction

    1. Conceiving Reproduction in Biological Anthropology

    Karen L. Kramer, Amanda Veile and Paula Ivey Henry

    2. Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: Evidence, Proposed Mechanisms, and Ideas for Future Applications

    Zaneta Thayer and Theresa Gildner

    3. Men and Reproduction: Perspectives from Biological Anthropology

    Peter B. Gray, Alex Straftis and Kermyt G. Anderson

    4. Conceiving of Reproduction in Archaeology

    April Nowell, Lisa M. Mitchell and Helen Kurki

    Part II Governance, stratification, justice, and freedom

    5. Reproduction and the State

    Carole H. Browner and Carolyn F. Sargent

    6. The Necropolitics of Reproduction: Racism, Resistance, and the Sojourner Syndrome in the Age of the Movement for Black Lives

    Leith Mullings

    7. Reproductive Governance in Practice: A Comparison of State-Provided Reproductive Health Care in Cuba and the United States

    Elise Andaya

    8. Reproduction through Revolution: Maoist Women’s Struggle for Equity in Post-Development Nepal

    Jan Brunson

    9. Policy, Governance, Practice: Global Perspectives on Abortion

    Joanna Mishtal and Silvia De Zordo

    10. Sterile Choices: Racialized Women, Reproductive Freedom, and Social Justice

    Iris López

    Part III Making fertility 


    11. Menstruation: Causes, Consequences, and Context

    Mary P. Rogers-LaVanne and Kathryn B. H. Clancy

    12. Menstruation: Sociocultural Perspectives

    Elisha P. Renne


    13. Infertility, In Vitro Fertilization, and Fertility Preservation: Global Perspectives

    Marcia C. Inhorn

    14. Global IVF and Local Practices: The Case of Ghana

    Trudie Gerrits  

    15. Eggs

    Daisy Deomampo

    16. Surrogacy

    Andrea Whittaker

    Part IV Queering reproduction

    17. The Racial Contours of Queer Reproduction

    France Winddance Twine and Marcin Smietana

    18. Invisible Hands: The Reproductivities of Queer(ing) and Race(ing) Gynecology

    Nessette Falu

    Part V Made and unmade: Personhood and reproduction

    19. "Personhood" in the Anthropology of Reproduction

    Linda Layne

    20. Prenatal Screening and Diagnosis

    Nete Schwennesen and Tine M. Gammeltoft

    21. Navigating Reproductive Losses

    Erica van der Sijpt

    22. Reproduction in the Past: A Bioarchaeological Exploration of the Fetus and Its Significance

    Amy B. Scott and Tracy K. Betsinger 

    Part VI Pregnancy

    23. Pregnancy and the Anthropology of Reproduction

    Elly Teman and Tsipy Ivry

    24. Bringing Language into the Anthropology of Reproduction: The Text and Talk of Pregnancy

    Sallie Han

    25. From Couvade to "Men’s Involvement": Sociocultural Perspectives of Expectant Fatherhood

    Richard Powis

    Part VII Birth

    26. The Obstetrical Dilemma Revisited--Revisited

    Karen R. Rosenberg and Wenda R. Trevathan

    27. There Is No Evolutionary "Obstetrical Dilemma"

    Holly Dunsworth

    28. Midwifery in Cross-Cultural Perspectives

    Mounia El Kotni

    29. Doulas: Negotiating Boundaries in Birth

    Julie Johnson Searcy and Angela N. Casteñeda

    30. Rituals and Rites of Childbirth across Cultures

    Melissa Cheyney and Robbie Davis-Floyd

    31. Making Dignified Care the Norm: Examining Obstetric Violence and Reproductive Justice in Kenya

    Jackline Oluoch-Aridi, Vania Smith-Oka, Jessica Dailey and Ellyn Milan

    32. Maternal Mortality

    Adrienne Strong

    Part VIII Postpartum and infant care

    33. Making Space for Lactation in the Anthropology of Reproduction

    Cecília Tomori, EA Quinn and Aunchalee E.L. Palmquist

    34. The Bioarchaeology of Infant Feeding

    Siân E. Halcrow, Melanie J. Miller, Kate Pechenkina, Yu Dong and Wenquan Fan 

    35. Biocultural Perspectives on Infant Sleep

    Alanna E.F. Rudzik, Cecília Tomori, James J. McKenna and Helen L. Ball

    Part IX Care as reproducing kinship

    36. Menopause

    Lynnette Leidy Sievert and Subho Roy

    37. The Shifting Role of Grandmothers in Global Reproduction Strategies

    Ellen Block

    38. Alloparenting: Evolutionary Origins and Contemporary Significance of Cooperative Childrearing as a Key Feature of Human Reproduction

    Kristen N. Herlosky and Alyssa N. Crittenden

    39. Adoption and Fostering

    Jessaca Leinaweaver and Diana Marre



    Sallie Han is Professor of Anthropology at SUNY Oneonta, USA. She is the author of Pregnancy in Practice: Expectation and Experience in the Contemporary US (2013) and co-editor of The Anthropology of the Fetus: Biology, Culture, and Society (2018).

    Cecília Tomori is Associate Professor and Director of Global Public Health and Community Health at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, USA. She is the author of Nighttime Breastfeeding: An American Cultural Dilemma (2014) and co-editor of Breastfeeding: New Anthropological Approaches (2018).

    "Ultimately, the handbook serves as a master toolkit, by which anthropologists can gain the knowledge needed to better harness the full potential of the anthropology of reproduction. Indeed, the collection affirms the evidentiary as well as actionable, even political power of our inquiry to explore, explain, and intervene on a complex array of reproductive needs and concerns. [...] Capable of inspiring and sustaining anthropologists’ formative and more advanced steps in the study of reproduction, the collection will serve as a crucially important contribution to the field for many years to come." - Emma Varley in Medical Anthropology Quarterly

    "This book expertly guides us through the intricacies of reproduction as a complex entanglement of biocultural, biographical and historically situated practices, in which relationships of unequal power and violence, as well as care and kinship are forged. The editors have showcased the astonishing breadth of topics that are centred on reproduction, from socio-cultural, evolutionary, linguistic, political, medical, technological and intersectional perspectives. The book will appeal to students and scholars at all levels with an interest in reproduction and I highly recommend it – even established experts will encounter new knowledge and will be inspired to broaden their thinking about reproduction beyond the confines of their own disciplinary imperatives and experiences. The book also has much to offer those who work to set policy and practices which relate, directly and indirectly, to reproduction. If clinicians, legislators, as well as those who determine public health policy, were to engage with the evidence and arguments so cogently presented in this book then perhaps the subject of reproduction could take its rightful place at the core of our everyday values, practices, and human rights." - Rebecca Gowland in Childhood in the Past