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Elana Resnick, "Gypsy Bodies as EU Problems"

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
4:00pm – 5:00pm

Storrs Campus
Dodd 162

"'Can We Stop Talking about Birth Control Yet?' 'Gypsy' Bodies as European Problems"

A public lecture by Elana Resnick, PhD Candidate in Anthropology, University of Michigan

DATE: Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 TIME: 4:00 pm LOCATION: Room 162, Thomas J. Dodd Center, Storrs Campus *Light refreshments will be served. 

Abstract: Why does Europe care so much about Romani (“Gypsy”) birth control methods? Since joining the European Union (EU) in 2007, Bulgaria has been required to implement EU-mandated health and social integration policies. One response to this mandate has involved programs centering on Romani women and, in particular, their reproductive health. In effect, Romani women’s bodies and choice of birth control have become vehicles for Bulgaria to achieve EU-mandated goals regarding human rights and minority integration. Drawing on participant-observation with Romani women street sweepers and local NGO representatives, I discuss how Romani women interpret European Union health policies, especially in light of recent anti-Roma protests that emphasize “saving” the Bulgarian state from “Gypsy overpopulation.”  

Elana Resnick is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is currently completing her dissertation, “Nothing Ever Perishes: Waste, Race, and Transformation in an Expanding European Union,” which traces connections between material garbage and metaphors of “social trash” in Bulgaria. Her work has received support from Fulbright-Hays, the Council for European Studies, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe.

This event is sponsored by HRI's Research Program on Global Health & Human Rights, with co-sponsorship from the Department of Anthropology and the Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

For more information about the Research Program on Global Health & Human Rights, click here.

To request reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities, or with other questions regarding this event, please contact Lyndsay Nalbandian at


Johanna DeBari (

Human Rights Institute (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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