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Eugenic Concerns and Reproductive Liberty: a Biopolitical Discrepancy in Bulgaria
19.03.2012 @ 18:00 - 20:00
Ongoing Theoretical Seminar „Challenges to Representative Democracy Today”, organized by the Human and Social Studies Foundation – Sofia.
Lecture: Eugenic Concerns and Reproductive Liberty: a Biopolitical Discrepancy in Bulgaria
Lecturer: Dr. Ina Dimitrova, Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Moderator: Associate Professor Dr. Boyan Znepolsky HSSF HSSF/ NBU
I shall discuss two biopolitical technologies, which have been recently deployed and mobilized in Bulgaria: assisted reproduction and the initiative for preventing genetic conditions, focused on the widespread use of prenatal testing technologies. Along the lines of the institutionalization of the fear of impairment and the normalization of selective abortion, my aim is to juxtapose the forms of pressure associated with them: while the assisted reproduction operates through mobilization of the principle of reproductive freedom, even duty to procreate, without referring to the question of responsibility, in the initiative for prevention of genetic conditions reproductive freedom is seriously limited through the imposed obligation not to create “lives which are not worth living”, tactically preformulated as an obligation to society. I consider this as an example of reproductive decision-making governance, which demonstrates the productive role of norms and the ways they get utilized for construction of novel forms of self-relating and self-governing.
Ina Dimitrova is currently an Assistant Professor at the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She held a teaching assistantship (2006-2008) in Sociology of everyday life, History of sociology: the Challenge of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopower, Contemporary philosophy and currently a lectureship in Ontology at Plovdiv University (2008 – present). Recent Publications: Reflexivity and Social Ontology, 2009, Critique and Humansim Publ. House; Prevention of Genetic Disorders in Bulgaria: Genetic Governance and Technologies of the Self. In: Sociological Problems, 1-2, 2011; How We Raised a Monster: Constructing the Image of Socialism during the Post-socialist Period in Bulgaria. In: History of Communism in Europe, M. Stan (ed.). Bucharest: Polirom Publishing House, 2010; National Body Welfare: Self-responsible Individuals and Self-responsible Communities. In: Critique and Humanism, 33(3), pp. 91-110, 2010.