CFP for Issue on Teaching Reproductive Justice
2023 has brought mostly bad news for advocates for reproductive justice and the right to bodily autonomy. The June 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health that stripped women and other pregnant people of the federal Constitutional right to abortion set in motion a cascade of state “trigger” laws, which restricted or outright banned abortion as soon as Dobbs was decided. Other state legislators moved quickly to add abortion bans in their jurisdictions. The decision also put into question the entire concept of the right to privacy, which has unforeseeable consequences.
Dobbs will have any number of ripple effects. With the right to abortion severely limited or outlawed in many states, it’s hard to predict how already overwhelmed or inadequate child welfare programs around the US, like Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, will withstand an increase in the numbers of children needing help. Further, because many of the clinics that provided abortions were also sites for other kinds of health services, from Pap smears to mammograms to gender-affirming care to assisted reproduction, many people will have little to no local, non-judgmental, person-centered medical care.
And given the dismissal of the Constitutional right to privacy in the Dobbs decision, as well as legislation that allows people to sue anyone “assisting” in a person’s abortion, what other kinds of personal decisions might come under legal attack? We’ve already seen major legal limitations on care for trans people, as well as a gag rule around talking in schools about any form of sexuality that a parent (or non-parent, for that matter) might think is inappropriate for children. More than ever, non-cis and/or non-male bodies are being both covered over with layers of what can’t be said and turned increasingly into public property, subject to all kinds of legislative control.
In this issue of Radical Teacher we’re interested in how we might approach these issues pedagogically. How do we teach (about) reproductive justice in an ever-more hostile environment? Some of the questions we’d like to see articles address are:
- What are the intersectional issues around limitations on reproductive care and bodily autonomy? How do race, class, gender, sexuality, and other subjectivities interact with this new reproductive landscape?
- What are the practical and ethical issues around advising students? How will counseling, advising, and interpersonal relationships change?
- How does student activism around reproductive justice look? What new strategies and approaches are students at all levels considering and implementing? Does student activism need to change to adapt to the post-Dobbs world?
- How do medical schools, nursing schools, and other healthcare provider educational programs deal with training students who want to learn how to perform abortions or assist in abortion care? How must law professors reimagine what it means to teach family law, Constitutional law, and even criminal law in a world in which reproductive healthcare is criminalized?
- How do K-12 teachers approach teaching sexuality, reproductive rights (including access to contraception and abortion) to their students? What other mechanisms might there be to help students talk openly and honestly about their medical needs and sexual behaviors?
- How does teaching the history of the fight for reproductive freedom and justice and bodily autonomy change in the context of contemporary events?
- How do we help our students – and ourselves – recognize the deep connections between the criminalization of abortion, the push to silence teachers around issues of race and inequality, and the demonization of trans people?
- What might civil disobedience look like in the classroom? What are our responsibilities as educators? What are we willing to risk to provide our students with the information and support they need and deserve?
- How do we tell the stories of what Dobbs means in people’s actual lives, especially the most vulnerable?
Inquiries and article proposals are encouraged. Do not hesitate to contact the co-editors, if you have questions or wish to explore ideas: Sarah Chinn (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kimberly Mutcherson (email@example.com).
Complete manuscripts are due January 1, 2024.
Radical Teacher articles are typically 4,000 -6,000 words, although we will consider shorter or longer submissions. To submit a manuscript, register on the journal publication site: radicalteacher.library.pitt.edu and click on “register.”
Complete submission guidelines can be found here:
We also encourage the submission of Teaching Notes, Reviews, and Poetry related to the topic of the issue. Follow the general submission process as for articles, but at the drop-down menu choose “Teaching Notes,” “Reviews” or “Poetry,” rather than “Reproductive Freedom.”
CPF for special issue on Critical DEI
Radical Teacher #126, Teaching (About) Socialism, is now available at:
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Radical Teacher announces a new Poetry feature to appear in each edition of the journal.