Wednesday 29 June 2016

Upcoming research with brilliant bioethicist Brian Earp at the Brocher Foundation in Geneva

I am extremely excited to soon be joining my brilliant bioethicist friend and colleague, Brian Earp, at the Brocher Foundation in Geneva for a month long residency of researching and writing about male circumcision. 

Our project, entitled "The Science, Politics, and Ethics of Male Circumcision: An Interdisciplinary Take on an Emerging Global Controversy," will involve our planning and organising an academic conference on male circumcision featuring the leading researchers on this subject from ethics, history, law, medicine, religious studies, and across the social and political sciences. We hope that the output of this conference will form the basis of an edited collection of essays on a range of circumcision-related topics and debates.

For more information on the research we have planned during our joint residency, please see my researcher profile here

Monday 20 June 2016

Presentation on 'Gender in Israel' at Brandeis University's Summer Institute for Israel Studies

It was both a pleasure and a privilege to present my ideas for teaching about 'Gender in Israel' to the fellows of the 2016 Summer Institute for Israel Studies at Brandeis University.

As I explained in my talk, research on gender in Israel emanates from multiple disciplines and addresses numerous contested questions. These include:
  • The extent to which kibbutzim have lived up to their egalitarian promise
  • The impact of the military on gender roles and relations 
  • The effect of religious beliefs and institutions on ideas about and practices relating to gender
  • How gender has intersected with socio-economic class, ethnicity, race and religion in Israel
  • The historical roots and contemporary sources of Israeli pro-natalism, or encouragement of childbirth
  • The factors offsetting Israel's pro-natalism
  • The implications of Israel's pro-natalism for women's reproductive health and rights
If you would like to read my syllabus, which includes an overview of the scholarship both on gender and on reproduction in Israel, together with my recommended readings, please click here

Thank you to the director of the Schusterman Centre for Israel Studies at Brandeis, David Ellenson, and to the associate director, Rachel Fish, for not only inviting me to present, but also giving me such a warm welcome. Thanks also to Anina Selve, Rise Singer and Abby Huber for all of their hard work in helping and supporting me in myriad ways.

Tuesday 7 June 2016

My Recent "Wars of the Wombs" Lecture at LSE's Middle East Centre

I was delighted to speak recently at LSE's Middle East Centre about my research on abortion in Israel. It was my first public lecture after a year of maternity leave, which as many of you will know is a daunting task. I needn't have fretted: My paper was very well received by an engaged and engaging audience, leading to a stimulating question and answer session afterwards. Many thanks to my former doctoral supervisor, Professor Avi Shlaim, for chairing the event.

The paper I presented - which is based on a journal article that I published in Israel Studies last year, and which you can read and/or download here - outlines the historical and contemporary struggles that have led to the gap between the restrictions on, and availability of, abortion in Israel. I attribute this gap to the compromise necessitated by conflicts among competing policymakers, motivated by opposing viewpoints and interests, over the objectives and substance of abortion policies.

If you'd like to hear more, you can listen to the podcast of my lecture here