Screenshot of the online catalogue entry for the ‘Prorace’ cervical cap on the Wellcome Collection website


Photograph of printed article: Neushul, Peter 1998: “Marie C. Stopes and the Popularization of Birth Control Technology”. 


Photograph of printed article: Neushul, Peter 1998: “Marie C. Stopes and the Popularization of Birth Control Technology”.


Presentation for the Birth Rites Collection Summer School

King’s College, London

July and September 2021

In this presentation, I share ongoing PhD research undertaken at the Royal College of Art in collaboration with Bith Rites Collection (BRC). This particular chapter of the research frames the British birth control campaigner Dr Marie Stopes’ contraceptive ‘Prorace’ cap (19915-1920) as a Matter of Care after Maria Puig de la Bellacasa. In my presentation, I describe developing methodologies of care-fully unfolding and re-presenting this historical object, with particular attention to the ways it speaks to intersections of gender, race, ability, and sexual reproduction.

“In late-nineteenth-century Britain and North America, concerns about the health and fitness of the population, and in particular, the reproduction of a strong, white, imperial nation-state were fuelled by a decrease in the birth rate (especially among the middle and upper classes) and the emergence of a ‘new woman’ who was perceived to threaten the sanctity of the nineteenth-century gender roles which constructed women as the ‘moral guardians’ of the race” (Jette 2017, 315).


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