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Grace Halden

  • Overview

    Overview

    Extended absence from the college

    I am away on ISSF funded research leave. I am still responding to emails and I am accepting PhD applications.

    Biography

    I am a cultural historian with a broad focus on technology and posthumanism. I specialise in reproductive health, reproductive technologies, assisted reproduction (IUI and IVF), donor conception, and bioethics. I mainly work on 20th and 21st century literature and culture. My work is interdisciplinary and sits in the juncture between literary studies and medical humanities.

    My current research project is called Cyborg Conception (for which I hold 3 separate grants and a book contract). Cyborg Conception focuses on cultural responses to donor conception, solo motherhood by choice, and assisted reproduction.

    My forthcoming monograph contracted with Palgrave combines creative (lived experience) and critical writing on solo motherhood via gamete donation. 

    Highlights

    • 2020-2021: ISSF Wellcome full funding for 12 months. Project: 'Cyborg Conception: technologized reproduction and posthuman families in literary and cultural imagination'. This project will intervene in the interdisciplinary field of the medical humanities by understanding the cultural mediation of assisted reproduction through literature since 1978. Across three key genres, ‘Cyborg Conception’ analyses how literature forms part of the reimagined ‘entangled’ medical humanities (as articulated by Fitzgerald and Callard), interrogating and even ‘reanimating’ medical understandings of, and discourses around, assisted reproduction.

    • 2022-2023. ISSF Wellcome full funding for project: Independent Family Planning: Choosing Solo Motherhood through Gamete Donation. Summary: Through co-production with the donor conception community, I aim to produce an 8-page A5 booklet on solo motherhood by choice to be shared with fertility clinics specialising in donor conception. The objective of this booklet is to highlight to industry professionals the lived experiences of SMBC at the stages of family planning, choosing donor gametes, embarking on the conception journey, pregnancy, and birth. More information here: 

    • Forthcoming: Cyborg Conception: Cultural and Critical Responses to Solo Motherhood by Choice (under contract with Palgrave Macmillan (due late 2023)


    • Publication: 'Fatherlessness, sperm donors and ‘so what?’ parentage: arguing against the immorality of donor conception through ‘world literature’, Medical Humanities, 25 April 2022. doi: 10.1136/medhum-2021-012328 (part of the ISSF/Wellcome Cyborg Conception funded project)


    • 2021: Winner: Best Dissertation/Project Supervisor for Birkbeck Heroes (Birkbeck Students' Union)

    Office hours

    Mondays and Wednesdays

    Qualifications

    • PGCHE, 2017
    • PhD, 2014
    • QTS, 2009
    • MA by Research, 2007
    • BA Hons, 2005

    Web profiles

    Administrative responsibilities

    • Director of the Foundation Year for the School of Arts
    • Member of the Open Access Research Group
    • Convener for Perspectives and Possibilities (FY), Questioning the Contemporary (FY), The Novel (BA), Creative and Critical Writing Dissertation (BA), English Dissertation (BA), Liberal Arts (BA), America Rewired (BA),Being Human (MA)
    • Departmental representative for Digital Education Sub-Committee
    • Department Publicity and Recruitment Representative

    Professional memberships

    • Professional member of the Donor Conception Nework

    • Member of the SFRA

    • HEA Fellow

    • Member Open Access Sub-Committee at Birkbeck

    • Member of the Atomic Photographer’s Guild

    Honours and awards

    • Research Grant, ISSF, November 2020
    • Award: Community-Facing Events. For: Anonymity and Donor Conception in the Digital Age, Experimental Humanities Collaborative Network (EHCN), November 2022
    • 2021: Winner: Best Dissertation/Project Supervisor for Birkbeck Heroes), Birkbeck Students' Union, June 2021
    • Translation Award/Grant, Wellcome/ISSF, August 2022
    • High commendation, Public Engagement Awards, November 2018
    • Birkbeck Excellence in Teaching Award (BETA), Birkbeck, November 2017
  • Research

    Research

    Research interests

    • Modern and contemporary literature
    • Donor conception
    • Bioethics
    • Reproductive Health
    • Cold War
    • Assisted reproduction
    • Technological Development
    • Ruination
    • Global literature
    • American literature
    • Posthumanism
    • Transhumanism
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • bio-objects
    • Techological singularity
    • World War Two
    • Nuclear power / nuclear technology
    • Human condition and human rights
    • Hannah Arendt
    • Primo Levi
    • Marshall McLuhan
    • Jean Baudrillard
    • Martin Heidegger
    • Jacques Derrida
    • Cybernetics
    • Apocalypse theory/prediction/narratives/religious/secular apocalypse,
    • urban exploration

    Research clusters and groups

    • Member, First Contact Research Group.

    Research projects

    Institutional Strategic Support Fund, ISSF (1)

    Institutional Strategic Support Fund, ISSF (2)

  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching

    Supervision

    I am currently welcoming proposals for PhD study. In the first instance please submit an informal letter of interest to me at g.halden@bbk.ac.uk. I will work with successful applicants on relevant funding applications including CHASE and Wellcome.

    I welcome proposals on the following topics (click here)

    Current doctoral researchers

    • JEMMA WALTON
    • SIDDHARTH YADAV

    Teaching

    I mainly modern and contemporary literature, creative writing, creative/critical writing, critical theory, cultural history, and medical humanities. I teach at all levels - foundation year, BA, MA, PHD. I am also a qualified teacher (QTS) in secondary school and further education. I have won a couple of teaching awards.

    I currently teach on:

    - Perspectives and Possibilities (FY)

    - Questioning the Contemporary World (FY)

    - The Novel (BA)

    - Storytelling (BA)

    - America Rewired (BA)

    - Creative/Critical Writing Dissertation (BA)

    - English Dissertation (BA)

    - Liberal Arts Dissertation (BA)

    - Humanities Dissertation (BA)

    - Being Human (MA)

    I am the convener for most of these modules and am the Director for the Foundation Year across the School of Arts.

    As a qualified teacher of over ten years, I have a background in teaching English pre further education. I currently do outreach work in local schools offering workshops, seminars, lectures and CPD for staff. I am currently working with the English Association on forging connections between academia and schools. 

    Qualifications: Certificate of Governance (2010), QTS (GTP) 2008, PGCHE (2017), Fellow HEA (2017).

    Teaching modules

    • The Arts: Perspectives and Possibilities (ARAR008S3)
    • Reading the Contemporary (AREN095S7)
    • Being Human: Posthumanism and the 21st Century (AREN231S7)
    • America Rewired: US Literature and Culture since the 1960s (AREN249S6)
    • Storytelling: Narrative Archetypes, Forms and Techniques (AREN256S4)
    • Dissertation BA English (ENHU051S6)
  • Publications

    Publications

    Article

    Book

    Book Section

    • Halden, Grace (2020) British Science Fiction 1990-2017: technology themed fiction in the light of the new millennium and speculative ‘Singularity’. In: Bradford, Richard and Gonzalez, M. and Butler, S. and Ward, J. and De Ornellas, K. (eds.) The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Literature. Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Literature Series. Wiley Blackwell. pp. 643-654. ISBN 9781119099796.
    • Halden, Grace (2019) Photography and digital art. In: McFarlane, A. and Murphy, G.J. and Schmeink, L. (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture. Routledge Companions. Abingdon, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9780815351931.
    • Halden, Grace (2016) Growing up in the 21st Century: pretty little liars and their pretty little devices. In: D'Amico, L. (ed.) Girl Talk: The Influence of Girls’ Series Fiction on American Popular Culture. Children and Youth in Popular Culture. New York, U.S.: Lexington. pp. 269-292. ISBN 9781498517645.
    • Halden, Grace (2015) Lighting. In: Smith, M. (ed.) The World of the American Revolution: A Daily Life Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A Daily Life Encyclopedia. ABC-Clio Greenwood. ISBN 9781440830273.
    • Halden, Grace (2015) Mills. In: Smith, M. (ed.) The World of the American Revolution: A Daily Life Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: A Daily Life Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, U.S.: ABC-Clio Greenwood. ISBN 9781440830273.

    Conference Item

    Image

  • Business and community

    Business and community

    Media

    I am happy to receive enquiries from the media on the following topics:

    • Assisted reproduction
    • Donor conception
    • Reproductive health
    • solo parenthood by choice
    • Posthumanism

      Outreach

      2022-2023. Experimental Humanities Collaborative Network (EHCN) funding for Award: Community-Facing Events. For: Anonymity and Donor Conception in the Digital Age.


      I am a professional member of the Donor Conception Network (DCN) and a volunteer for the DCN.

      2022. 'Effecting Change: Café for Solo Parents by Choice', Being Human Festival, November. Co-organiser alongside Dr Harriet Barratt. Tickets sold: 105.

      Aimed at solo parents by choice (SPBC) through gamete donation, this community-based café offers attendees the opportunity to discuss current research and developments within the donor conception world and talk about how they are trying to effect positive change. Hosted by two solo mothers by choice, Grace Halden and Harriet Barratt, this is a safe space for reflection on the solo conception pathway. Joining us and talking about their work is admin for the Facebook groups Solo Parents by Choice UK Natasza Ann Lentner, founder of Single Parent Rights Ruth Talbot, and Associate Professor Suzy Buckley who is currently researching the experiences and support networks of solo mothers.

      2022-2023. ISSF Wellcome full funding for project: Independent Family Planning: Choosing Solo Motherhood through Gamete Donation.

      Summary: Through co-production with the donor conception community, I aim to produce an 8-page A5 booklet on solo motherhood by choice to be shared with fertility clinics specialising in donor conception. The objective of this booklet is to highlight to industry professionals the lived experiences of SMBC at the stages of family planning, choosing donor gametes, embarking on the conception journey, pregnancy, and birth. More information here: 


      

      As a qualified teacher of over ten years, I have a background in teaching English pre further education. I currently do (very limited) outreach work in local schools. I also do workshops for staff - mainly on technology for teaching and learning.

       

      Contact me for full teaching history.

      Qualifications: Certificate of Governance (2010), QTS (GTP) 2008, PGCHE (2017), Fellow HEA (2017).

      Services

      • Other

        Charity work with the Donor Conception Network - local coordinator and welcomer