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Cambridge Reproduction

Queer Conceptions - rainbow eggs

Same-sex adoption, trans pregnancies and advances in reproductive biology have made our understanding of ‘family’ more diverse and inclusive than ever. Join us to discuss what queer parenthood means for the 21st century. This event is organised by the Queer Conceptions project.

Speakers include:

  • Freddy McConnell, freelance journalist and protagonist of Seahorse (2019)
  • Susie Bower-Brown, Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge
  • Marcin Smietana, Reproductive Sociology Research Group, University of Cambridge
  • Zoe Stewart, University of Leicester

Chair: Katie Dow (University of Cambridge)

Hosted by Geoffrey Maguire and Francesca Gaccioli (University of Cambridge)

Join us for an earlier event on Friday 26 March, when we will be screening Seahorse (2019), a film that follows trans man Freddy McConnell in his quest to become a father.

Register for the event on Eventbrite:


Freddy McConnell
Freddy is a journalist, father and trans man. He shared his journey to parenthood through pregnancy in the 2019 documentary Seahorse and he writes a regular column about trans fertility and family for Vice. He is fighting a court battle to be registered as 'father' or 'parent' on his child's birth certificate. The case is now going to the European Court of Human Rights.


Dr Zoe Stewart
Zoe (she/her) is an Academic Clinical Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Leicester. Originally from Australia, Zoe completed her PhD in obstetric medicine at Cambridge and has published widely in the field. As a queer woman who is currently pregnant, Zoe has both a personal and professional interest in queer pregnancy and parenting.


Marcin Smietana
Marcin is a research associate in ReproSoc, University of Cambridge. His research focuses on gay men creating families through surrogacy and adoption in the UK, USA and Spain. With Prof. Charis Thompson (LSE), Marcin co-edited a volume of Reproductive BioMedicine & Society (Nov. 2018) on queer kinships and reproductive justice.



Susie Bower-Brown
Susie is a final-year PhD student at the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge. Her research takes a qualitative approach to understanding the experiences of trans and/or non-binary parents within parenting spaces and the experiences of binary-trans, non-binary, and gender-questioning adolescents at school.



Dr Katharine Dow (she/her)
Katie is a senior research associate in the Department of Sociology and deputy director of the Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc) at the University of Cambridge. She specialises in connections between reproductive and environmental concerns and activism. She is particularly concerned with how ideas of nature and naturalness are implicated in politics and ethics, as well as the ways in which intersecting inequalities structure parenting and reproduction. She is the author of Making a Good Life: An Ethnography of Nature, Ethics, and Reproduction (Princeton University Press, 2016).


Dr Francesca Gaccioli
Francesca is a Research Associate in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Her research focus is on the alterations of placental development and function associated with pregnancy complications, such as fetal growth restriction and pre-eclampsia. 




Dr Geoffrey Maguire
Geoffrey is the Lorna Close Lecturer in Spanish at Murray Edwards College and a College Lecturer and Director of Studies at Peterhouse. He specialises in contemporary Latin American film, literature and visual art, with particular interests in cultural memory, queer representation, and sexuality and gender. 



This event is part of the Cambridge Festival 2021. The Festival organisers have prepared a Code of Conduct. This is to ensure that the Festival is a positive experience for everyone of all gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, with any disability and of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, religions/beliefs and other protected identities based on the UK’s 2010 Equality Act. By attending Festival events, you are confirming that you will abide by this Code of Conduct in all interactions throughout the Festival.

Tuesday, 30 March, 2021 - 19:30 to 21:00
Event location: