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    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 paper introduces students to the anthropological study of human reproduction and kinship. 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 critical approach draws upon the 'new' kinship studies, feminist anthropologies, social studies of science, medical anthropology and political economy. Our focus is global, glocal and local.

    This paper is offered in yearly rotation with ANTH 323 Anthropology of Health.

    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.
    18 200-level ANTH points or 108 points
    ANTH 222
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    This paper is designed for students with and without strong backgrounds in Anthropology.

    Professor Ruth Fitzgerald

    Teaching staff

    Professor Ruth Fitzgerald

    Paper Structure

    Internal assessment: A reflective essay drawing in part either on a book review (for non-Anthropology majors) or a very small-scale practical research project (for Anthropology majors), plus a weekly Key Lecture Point question answered electronically in class, and a poster presentation on the major findings of the reflective essay submitted digitally and then delivered in person on the last day of class in a friendly mock conference setting where the class divides into two and we swap roles as presenters and as the audience working in two large supportive groups.

    External assessment: Multiple-choice end of semester exam.

    The paper involves active learning, and students are requested to read their required weekly readings before attending class.

    Teaching Arrangements

    One 2-hour lecture per week with some informal student participation in the last four weeks of the paper.

    One 1-hour tutorial per week.

    Required reading is from journal articles and book chapters available electronically through the library using course reserve.
    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.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will:

    • Be able to make a reasoned judgement about the complex and culturally specific meanings of human reproduction within their chosen study site and support this interpretation with evidence
    • Demonstrate high level written and verbal communication skills


    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
    T3 Friday 15:00-15:50 9-12, 15-22
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