The ‘new hysteria’? wandering wombs, media representations and future imaginaries

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In this paper, I consider how the ‘new hysteria’ of uterus transplants (UTx) continues traditions of medical experimentation focussed upon the correction of the defective female body. Media accounts of ‘first’ UTx events in the US are analysed to describe the narrative ‘anchors’ used in these accounts. In Sweden and Denmark, UTx is presented within the media as a means to avoid surrogacy, while in the US UTx is constructed as an alternate choice to surrogacy in keeping with the US emphasis on neoliberal choices. These differing approaches to surrogacy and UTx reflect the different social contexts. In media accounts, risks are minimised and success is emphasised, and the potentials of UTx for non-heteronormative reproduction are not mentioned. Despite parallels with other forms of transplantation and surrogacy markets, public representations avoid the potential of a future UTx market.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-296
Number of pages21
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Assisted reproductive technology
  • Media representations
  • Surrogacy
  • Uterus transplants

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