Workshop: When Dystopia Becomes Reality: Law, Literature and the post-Roe v. Wade World, 01.-02.12.2022, Vienna

Forschungsplattform GAIN – Gender: Ambivalent In_Visibilities (Web)

Time: 01.-02.12.2022
Venue: University of Vienna – Juridicum, 1010 Vienna

Full programme (Web)

  • With contributions from Elisabeth Holzleithner, Agata Ignaciuk, Sara Jiménez Fernandez, Tanya Lolonis, Sylvia Mieszkowski, Greta Olson, and Maria Sagmeister.

In late June 2022, the US Supreme Court overruled Roe v Wade. The respective decision, Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, though not entirely unexpected, thanks to a highly unusual leak of a draft opinion, sent a shockwave around the globe. For almost half a century, the US Constitution had provided a right that put women in the US – at least theoretically – in charge of reproductive decisions that would drastically affect their whole lives. This era has come to an end.
Yet there is hope. For one, the historic turn-out at the US midterm elections in November 2022 delivered at least the Senate to the Democrats, many of whose candidates had put reproductive policy front and centre of their campaigns. This may continue to inspire state legislatures – blue, purple and red – to pass laws that protect the very reproductive rights which Dobbs eviscerated. But there is also reason to hope that a new generation of feminist political activists and theorists will rise to the challenge, not least by providing some of the argumentative tools that will be needed in the imminent political debates.
The interdisciplinary and international workshop aims to bridge from law to cultural representation and back again. The organizers will discuss different national frameworks around reproductive rights that exist in the world post Roe v Wade, different forms of activism to which they have given and are giving rise, while also taking a look at dystopian narratives, on which reality seems to be gaining ever faster.