This course focuses on the biological and cultural components of reproduction from an evolutionary and cross-cultural perspective. Beginning with the evolution of the pelvis, this course examines the nutritional problems, growth and developmental problems, health problems, and the trauma that can affect successful childbirth. The birth process will be studied for women in the ancient world and we will examine historical trends in obstetrics, as well. Birthing customs and beliefs will be examined for indigenous women in a number of different cultures. Worldwide rates of maternal mortality will be used to reveal the larger constellation of risks for morbidity and mortality for biologically female bodies. In addition we will examine the recent dialogues surrounding the technocratic model of birth to understand the changing focus of birth as women centered to a medical condition, which needs to be controlled. Students will be required to present and discuss material and to work on a single large research project throughout the semester that relates to the course topic.