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II Conference on Gender and Health in Global, Transnational and Historical Perspectives.

In this interdisciplinary and geographically wide-ranging one-day conference, we aim to bring together scholars from public health and the humanities, from the medical sciences and the social sciences, whose areas of research will help us consider past and present relationships of gender and health. 

Few would disagree that gender matters for understanding health, healthcare delivery, and health-related policies, particularly as gender intersects with other social and geopolitical categories in generating inequalities and inequities in disease, mortality, access to health care, and so forth. Most observers are also very aware that gender is critical to understanding the many social and environmental determinants of health, such as economic development, access to clean air and water, the impact of climate change, access to education, among others. Yet we still have much to learn about the relationship between gender and health across varying geographic and temporal contexts, such that we might be able to grapple with the relationships of gender and health within a global or transnational perspective or to understand the historical underpinnings of these relationships. How does gender interact with global political, economic, and social institutions to influence the ways in which individuals access, make choices about, and/or resist healthcare across national borders? How do gender inequities in the balance and use of power in global health institutions and global health policy impact local experiences of physical and mental health and well-being? Why do women constitute the majority of both front-line health workers and domestic care workers in so many areas around the world, and what implications does this have for their own and societies’ health and well-being? How are transnational actors, such as pharmaceutical industries, medical institutions, or political spokespersons, influencing local ideas about what is “natural” for the bodies of men, women, or non-binary people? How best ought we understand and respond to the biopolitics of developing global markets in semen, oocytes, human milk, surrogacy labor, childcare, and so forth?

While the questions posed above offer some food for thought, presentations that contribute to any aspect of the broader goal of understanding gender and health in a global, transnational, and historical perspective are welcome. We encourage talks that examine the intersection of gendered inequalities with other social categories such as race, religion, class, and sexuality and proposals that examine global health crises in relation to the processes of constituting subjectivities in health practices and various understandings of the body, disease, and wellness.

This conference is funded in part by five (5) Title VI National Resource Center grants from the U.S. Department of Education.