Fulbright Scholar, Dr Beth Sundstrom, to join Institute for Social Sciences in the 21st Century (ISS21), College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences.

21 Mar 2018

The College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC and the Institute for Social Sciences in the 21st Century (ISS21) are delighted to announce that Dr Beth Sundstrom will be joining the University as a Fulbright Scholar from September to December 2018.

Dr Sundstrom is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Public Health in the College of Charleston, South Carolina and is a leading scholar on health communication, pregnancy and childbirth. She is the author of Reproductive Justice and Women’s Voices: Health Communication across the Lifespan (2015) along with more than 20 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Dr Sundstrom will be working on a project entitled Horror and Hope: Reproductive Justice Activism in Ireland, Past and Present. This project will draw upon documentary analysis and interviews with activists to investigate the emerging reproductive justice movement in Ireland. Through a study of women’s reproductive health, including contraception, pregnancy, and childbirth the project will explore the social/cultural, political, and economic context that contribute to inequities based on race/ethnicity, ability, class, and sexuality in contemporary Ireland.

Speaking from Charleston, Dr Sundstrom outlined the rationale and scope of her Fulbright project
"This study makes essential links between Ireland’s past and present, demonstrating that a careful analysis of the history of reproduction is essential to advance not only academic debates about women’s rights and status but also to encourage activism that will change women’s lives. In Ireland, activists and advocacy organizations have been instrumental in raising awareness of women's reproductive health through campaigns, social media and multimedia projects. The time is right for an intersectional reproductive justice movement in Ireland. The reproductive justice framework situates reproductive decision making within the economic, religious, social, political, legal, and cultural contexts of women’s lived experiences and allows for an in-depth probe of the inextricable links between female citizenship and the construction of motherhood in Ireland”

While in UCC Dr Sundstrom will be hosted by ISS21. She will present seminars and public lectures on her research to the University and with ISS21’s Family, Gender and Sexualities research cluster, will explore the potential for building interdisciplinary research capacity and networks within and beyond the Institute.

The Vice Head for Research in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, Dr Helena Buffery welcomed Dr Sundstrom’s award saying “we are really excited about hosting such important and timely work in our College, both for the opportunities it offers for advancing key debates over women’s health and wellbeing and for further enhancing ISS21’s dynamic leadership in socially relevant interdisciplinary research”. The Fulbright Scholar award is funded by the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, UCC.

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