Areas of Expertise (4)
An expert on reproductive politics and transnational and transracial adoption, Laura Briggs appears frequently in print, broadcast and digital media to explain these complex issues. She has been featured on PBS and in national publication including Slate, InStyle and Ms. Magazine.
Brown University,: Ph.D., American Civilization
Harvard University: M.T.S., Theology and Secondary Education
Mount Holyoke College: A.B., Women’s Studies
Press Coverage (5)
Who Was the Anti-ERA Activist Phyllis Schlafly?
Laura Briggs, Professor of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, says “Phyllis Schlafly and others like her organized to make the Republican Party hostile to feminists and anti-racists.”
The Politics of Abortion with UMass Prof. Laura Briggs
WGBY | Public Television for Western New England tv
Abortion has once again become a hotly contested issue in the United States. UMass Amherst Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Laura Briggs is the author of How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics. Briggs joined Carrie Saldo to discuss the politics of abortion and the history of abortion in the United States.
How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics With Laura Briggs
WORT Radio radio
“All politics is reproductive.” That’s the major claim of Laura Briggs, our guest today. She joins Carousel in the studio for a far-reaching discussion of reproductive justice and contemporary American politics.
Queer Families Still Struggle to Access Leave
n her latest book, How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics, Laura Briggs argues that marriage rights for the LGBTQ community were not the movement’s first-choice solution. But in lieu of more comprehensive family rights for all, LGBTQ activists of the ’70s and ’80s began seeking marriage rights for same-sex couples as a more attainable alternative to broader class and racial equity.
Breaking Down How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics
Ms. Magazine print
Feminist critic Laura Briggs talks about her new book, "How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics: From Welfare Reform to Foreclosure to Trump."
Taking Children argues that for four hundred years the United States has taken children for political ends. Black children, Native children, Latinx children, and the children of the poor have all been seized from their kin and caregivers. As Laura Briggs’s sweeping narrative shows, the practice played out on the auction block, in the boarding schools designed to pacify the Native American population, in the foster care system used to put down the Black freedom movement, in the US’s anti-Communist coups in Central America, and in the moral panic about “crack babies.”
"... I am so very tired of people telling me that as a white woman, it’s my responsibility “to get my people”—and “convert” the majority of white women who vote Republican into feminist activists. ... It’s critical to be aware of how much racism and sexism—what others call “traditional values”—are central to anti-feminist recruitment. Indeed, anti-feminism is what brought white women into the fold of the Republican Party. "
Today all politics are reproductive politics, argues esteemed feminist critic Laura Briggs. From longer work hours to the election of Donald Trump, our current political crisis is above all about reproduction.
In Somebody's Children, Laura Briggs examines the social and cultural forces—poverty, racism, economic inequality, and political violence—that have shaped transracial and transnational adoption in the United States during the second half of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first.
In the past two decades, transnational adoption has exploded in scope and significance, growing up along increasingly globalized economic relations and the development and improvement of reproductive technologies. A complex and understudied system, transnational adoption opens a window onto the relations between nations, the inequalities of the rich and the poor, and the history of race and racialization, Transnational adoption has been marked by the geographies of unequal power, as children move from poorer countries and families to wealthier ones, yet little work has been done to synthesize its complex and sometimes contradictory effects.
Original and compelling, Laura Briggs's Reproducing Empire shows how, for both Puerto Ricans and North Americans, ideologies of sexuality, reproduction, and gender have shaped relations between the island and the mainland. From science to public policy, the "culture of poverty" to overpopulation, feminism to Puerto Rican nationalism, this book uncovers the persistence of concerns about motherhood, prostitution, and family in shaping the beliefs and practices of virtually every player in the twentieth-century drama of Puerto Rican colonialism. In this way, it sheds light on the legacies haunting contemporary debates over globalization.