Lucila Maria Carballo

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Massachusetts, Amherst, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10591

Approve Date

September 29, 2023

Project Title

Carballo, Lucila (Massachusetts, Amherst, U. of) "The Spectral Landscape of the Womb: Latinx Stories of Pregnancy, Birth, and Abortion"

For black and brown people, Roe was never enough. The current legal barriers to abortion access in the U.S. are linked with old colonial forms of exploitation and dispossession — genital mutilation, mass rape, unanesthetized womb surgery, and forced sterilization. Latinx populations in particular have been an epicenter of colonial violence; terror runs deep through their embodied memories and occupies a central place in collective narrative forms. The historicization of the Latinx merely as a wounded people, meanwhile, risks dispossessing them again, this time retrospectively, casting them within an ontology of victimization. Indeed, there are erotic aspects to these memories and experiences as well. This research looks at stories of pregnancy, birth and abortion within Latinx populations in the U.S. and asks how such fraught and fervent history manifests itself in present-day experiences. How is violence embodied, resisted, and transmuted? How does pleasure co-articulate with current and inherited forms of terror? What can erotic affects and memories reveal about intersecting temporalities, subjectivities, and political actions? Psychological anthropology, feminist theory, and experimental filmmaking are at the roots of this study, which aims to expand and complicate current understandings of reproductive care, subjectivity, and time.