New York, NY 10003 United States
Giving birth is commonly called labor. What happens if all of human pregnancy and gestation is thought from the labor point of view? If it is all labor, then how can that labor be freed from now global regimes of colonial and commodity exploitation? That’s the challenge of Full Surrogacy Now. The new lens on labor it gives us opens up crucial challenges and questions: What are the connections between the bodily labor of gestating and other forms of biological, social, and ecological production and reproduction? How can we politicize (human and nonhuman) work that's treated as natural, taken for granted, and done for free? Why is the impossible concept of "surrogacy" crucial to our collective liberation? And what might organizing based on solidarity between the "shopfloors" of paid and unpaid babymaking have to do with the often forgotten liberation horizon of family abolition?
Sophie Lewis will read from Full Surrogacy Now, followed by comments by Alyssa Battistoni on the "work of nature," feminism's vexed relationship to nature, and how surrogacy helps us understand both, opening up into a conversation facilitated by McKenzie Wark.
Sophie Lewis is a theorist, critic and translator living in Philadelphia. She publishes her work – on topics ranging from dating to Donna Haraway – on both scholarly and non-academic platforms including Boston Review, Viewpoint, Signs, Science as Culture, Jacobin, The New Inquiry, Mute, and Salvage Quarterly. Her translations include Communism for Kids by Bini Adamczak (MIT, 2016, with Jacob Blumenfeld), A Brief History of Feminism by Antje Schrupp (MIT, 2017), and Other and Rule by Sabine Hark and Paula Villa (Verso, forthcoming). A feminist committed to cyborg ecology and queer communism, she is a member of the Out of the Woods collective and an editor at Blind Field: A Journal of Cultural Inquiry.
Alyssa Battistoni is a PhD candidate in political theory at Yale University. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, Dissent, n+1, and Jacobin, where she is on the editorial board.
McKenzie Wark is the author of A Hacker Manifesto, Gamer Theory, 50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International and The Beach Beneath the Street, among other books. They teach at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College in New York City. Capital Is Dead: Is This Something Worse? is forthcoming in November from Verso.
Co-sponsored by the New School for Social Research.