About this site

Welcome to my site. My friends and I created this to share some of my work and - more importantly - to invite an exchange of ideas.


I've been a sociologist for a long time. and ventured into a number of different fields over the years: birth and midwifery (which I still think of as my home base); the new genetics and reproductive technologies; medical sociology; bioethics; issues in disability; adoption; race; and now I'm exploring food studies too. Some of you might know my work in one of these areas, others in a different area. What would be really interesting would be to have people talk, with each other and with me, across areas. I've tried, with some success over the years, to talk to midwives about genetics; to encourage people who do new reproductive technologies to think about home birth; to have bioethicists pay more attention to what medical sociology can offer; to get people in Food Studies thinking where midwifery issues overlap with their concerns. These are invariably the most fun and stimulating conversations I've ever been a part of. Connecting people, connecting ideas, weaving the webs that pull us together - nothing could make me happier. So this site, a gift from my friends, is my place to do this kind of weaving.


We've grouped my work by area - but please, if you're here because you have gotten anything useful out of my work in one area, do poke around for a minute in another. Bring your insights and wisdom and experience to a new place, a new issue. Let's see what we can weave together.


- Barbara Katz Rothman

Latest Book is Out!! A BUN IN THE OVEN


For more information on BUN, click here.

BUN Buzz


Thanks to Bitch Media for featuring A BUN IN THE OVEN on their Instagram page -- and calling it delectable!

Also to Times Higher Education in the UK for calling BUN a must-read --

A Bun in the Oven: How the Food and Birth Movements Resist Industrialization Barbara Katz Rothman New York University Press

A sociologist in the world of midwifery is introduced to food studies, and spots parallels everywhere with the world of birth. Her wittily named study ranges insightfully from Julia Child to natural childbirth, and from Lamaze and Pavlov to labour times, Cesareans and kale chips as she considers how "birth and food, once so profoundly part of women’s world of production, ultimately came to be acts of consumption…framed inside a big machine, an industrialized, medicalized, and capitalist system".

...thanks also to Dr. Rixa Freeze of Stand and Deliver blog, for the mention!

Radio Interview, WNPR, May 23, 2016

Click here to listen to a WNPR interview with Barbara about BUN, if you'd like.

(The link above takes you directly to Barbara's interview - the whole program can be found here, with the BUN portion starting at 26.50 min mark)

Radio Interview, Whole Mother, March 19, 2017

And another radio interview on BUN, this time with Patricia Jones of "Whole Mother." You have to click on my name to hear interview. Click here to listen.

Women, Birth, Food

New York University Press, the publishers of BUN IN THE OVEN, asked me to write something in honor of Women's History Month --


Women’s History – Rethinking Birth and Food.
It’s Women’s History Month!  Let’s celebrate!  Honor the first woman tenured at Harvard! First woman to win the Nobel prize! First woman astronaut! First woman whose art hangs in MOMA! First woman surgeon! First woman subway car driver! First woman chef! First woman architect! First woman Obstetrician! First woman….
Or wait a sec.  Are we celebrating the first woman to DO something, or the first woman to be recognized and acknowledged for doing it?  There surely were women artists before MOMA cared, women designing their homes, writing books, making dinner, catching babies… And wait another sec here – how did so many things that women do, across time and space,  like catching babies and making dinner, get turned into award-winning accomplishments when men did them, and quiet back-room work when women do them?
Click here to see more.

PRN Radio Show

Bhavani Jaroff runs I Eat Green, a website and a personal chef service, and a show for the Progressive Radio Network.  She interviewed me about A BUN IN THE OVEN -- you can listen to the show here.