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    An introduction to the social and cultural management of human reproduction. Features local and international anthropological studies of family formation, population control, trafficking, commoditised fertility, adoption, surrogacy, and other reproductive technologies.

    This is an introduction to the anthropology of reproduction. Taking nothing about our knowledge of the so called 'natural' and the 'normal' in this field for granted, we use a critical and feminist anthropological approach to explore several of the key contemporary issues in reproduction. Our focus is both global and local.

    About this paper

    Paper title Conceiving Reproduction
    Subject Anthropology
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    ANTH 103 or ANTH 105 or 54 points
    ANTH 322
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    This paper is suitable for students both with and without strong backgrounds in anthropology. Students need to have successfully passed at least one semester of full-time university studies to enrol in this paper. Assignments have been carefully designed to suit a multidisciplinary student audience.

    Professor Ruth Fitzgerald

    Teaching staff

    Professor Ruth Fitzgerald is your lecturer and also takes some or all of your tutorials.

    Paper Structure

    This course is 100% internally assessed based on:

    • A critical reading report
    • A book review
    • A weekly key lecture point question (open-book) and answered digitally in class
    • A reflective assignment based on a lecture topic and a related example of this found in popular culture
    Teaching Arrangements

    We meet together for a 2-hour lecture once a week with a break in the middle of the session. We work with a 'flipped classroom', so there is plenty of opportunity for you to talk as well as listen in these sessions. In addition, we have one hour a week of tutorials where we get to discuss ideas in small groups.


    Course readings are provided through eReserve on Blackboard.

    Course outline

    Will be available on Blackboard at the beginning of the course.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global Perspective, Interdisciplinary Perspective, Lifelong Learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical Thinking, Cultural Understanding, Ethics, Research, Self-Motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will:

    • Emerge from this course of study sensitised to the ethical and cultural ambiguities of living and working with reproductive technologies in local settings within a globalising world
    • Understand reproductive processes as being multi-dimensional, historically variable and shaped by specific political economies
    • Be able to critically evaluate the ideologies implicit within various contemporary accounts of reproduction
    • Be familiar with the work of one contemporary anthropologist's research into the broad field of reproduction and the 'new' kinship studies


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    L1 Friday 10:00-11:50 9-12, 15-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    T1 Friday 13:00-13:50 9-12, 15-22
    T2 Friday 14:00-14:50 9-12, 15-22
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