Professor of Philosophy at Complutense University of Madrid
Associate Member in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Oxford.
Stella Villarmea is a main contributor to the emergent field of the Philosophy of Birth. With an expertise in epistemology and feminism, her works address the philosophical relation between knowledge and emancipation. She has published on conceptual innovation and scepticism, as well as on Wittgenstein, Kant, and Levinas.
As a Marie S. Curie Fellow at the University of Oxford, she led the research project, ‘Controversies in Childbirth: from Epistemology to Practices (VOICEs)’, funded by the European Commission (2018-20). As the principal investigator of the project, ‘Philosophy of Birth: Rethinking the Origin from Medical Humanities (PHILBIRTH-1)’, funded by the Ministry of Economy in Spain, she coordinated an interdisciplinary team of philosophers, health practitioners and social scientists around childbirth and birth care (2016-19). She currently leads the Programme of Excellence, ‘Philosophy of Birth: A New Logos for Genos (PHILBIRTH-2)’, funded by the Government of Madrid (2021-24).
Member of the Steering and Gender Committees of the International Federation of Philosophical Associations (FISP), she has been Speaker of the International Association of Women Philosophers (IAPH), and Board member of the Spanish Network for Philosophy (REF).
Stella Villarmea´s outreach activity focuses on the educational and health sectors.
Consultant in Obstetrics and Fetomaternal Medicine at Oxford University Hospitals, NHS
A medical graduate from Edinburgh University, Brenda undertook core training in London where she also obtained her PhD in cardiovascular biology in pregnancy.
She completed advanced specialty training in Oxford and was appointed consultant in 2012. Brenda is clinical lead for Maternity Safety and in addition has an interest in migrant women’s health. She founded and leads the Oxford Rose Clinic, a specialist service for women and girls with FGM, is a member of Oxford Refugee Health Initiative and the Health Access Group at Asylum Welcome. She is also a member of Oxford University Hospitals Clinical Ethics Advisory Committee.
Professor of Midwifery Studies at University of Central Lancashire, co-Director, THRIVE Centre School of Community Health and Midwifery
Soo is a midwife with a particular research focus on the nature of, and cultures around, normal birth. Soo has undertaken research using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods, from phenomenology and ethnography to surveys, RCTs, and epidemiological analysis of large data sets. As well as undertaking research, she teaches on both undergraduate and postgraduate research programmes, and she regularly works with the World Health Organisation and with other research, practice, and public health leaders in maternity care around the world.
Independent midwife in Amsterdam
PhD candidate at the University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht
Rodante van der Waal (1992) is an independent midwife in Amsterdam and a PhD candidate at the University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, the Netherlands. She has a BA and MA in Philosophy (cum laude) and wrote her MA thesis on the ontology of pregnancy and Pregnant Posthuman subjectivity (see the lemma in: Posthuman Glossary (2018), eds Braidotti and Hlavajova). Her PhD study investigates obstetric violence from feminist, postcolonial and care-ethical theory. Rodante is the co-founder of the Critical Midwifery Studies Collective
Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Logic and Theoretical Philosophy at the Complutense University of Madrid
Virginia Ballesteros completed her PhD in Philosophy at the University of Valencia, with the dissertation, Conceptions of Mental Illness: in Search of Reality (2021). She holds a postgraduate degree in Therapeutic Action and its Social Repercussions (UNED, 2017) and a master’s degree in Contemporary Philosophical Thought (University of Valencia, 2015). She has done a research stay at the Sapienza University of Rome and at the Institute for Philosophical Research of Lyon.
Her research focuses on the philosophy of birth — particularly, on the metaphysical and epistemological aspects of birth care. She is also interested in the philosophy of psychiatry, i.e. the metaphysical assumptions underlying the conception and treatment of mental illness and the role of altered states of consciousness in psychiatry.
She is a member of the research project, ‘Philosophy of Birth: A New Logos for Genos (PHILBIRTH-2)’, Programme of Excellence, Complutense University of Madrid (2021-23).
PhD candidate in Gender Studies at the University of Valencia
Rebeca Granero Ferrer is a graduate in Midwifery of the City University of London (2016). She has worked as a midwife for the NHS in the UK, and for Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in humanitarian settings in Bangladesh and Central African Republic. She currently works as an independent midwife in Spain.
She is a PhD candidate in Gender Studies at the University of Valencia. Her dissertation takes a philosophical approach to birth to explore the epistemic injustice that women face during childbirth, with a particular emphasis on the implicit associations that discredit women in labour as subjects of knowledge. She holds a Master in Human Rights, Democracy and International Justice (University of Valencia, 2020), and a Master in Gender, Sexuality and Society (Birkbeck College, University of London, 2018).
|‘Philosophy of Birth: A New Logos for Genos (PHILBIRTH-2)’ Professorship of Excellence Research Programme, Complutense University of Madrid/ Government of Madrid Every human life begins with gestation and birth. However, giving birth continues to be a blind spot in contemporary prevailing philosophy. This project is about why and how we should introduce birth into the canon of subjects explored by philosophy. ‘https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/787646|
|Controversies in Childbirth: from Epistemology to Practices (VOICEs)’ EC Marie S. Curie Action, Faculty of Philosophy/ The Collaborating Centre for Values-based Practice at St Catherine´s College, University of Oxford The project applies the epistemological theory of controversies to the values embedded in decision-making in the field aiming at developing a particular section of values-based practice to be used in a variety of clinical contexts around childbirth. Full report available here.|
|‘Philosophy of Birth: Rethinking the Origin from Medical Humanities (PHILBIRTH-1)’ Ministry of Economy in Spain Research Programme, University of Alcalá, Madrid Pregnancy and birth are unique human experiences, not comparable to any other. The project addresses how our concepts of pregnancy and childbirth reflect our view of the world and of human being.|
We will introduce the Network, explore together the vision, and move towards this. This is a Network that exists together and exists for us. The process of exchange, dialogue, and discussion is not a means to an end but the very essence of our Network.
This webinar is organised by Prof. Stella Villarmea in collaboration with the Center for Values Based Practice.
What do we mean by informed consent and shared decision-making in childbirth? Does informed consent just equate shared decision-making? Who, of all involved, has the final say? Birth care proposes key questions relating to knowledge, freedom, and what it means to be a human being. These questions will be explored by Prof. Brenda Kelly, Prof. Soo Downe and Prof. Stella Villarmea along with testimonials from individuals about their birthing experience.
A webinar launching the Centre’s work over the coming five years following successful renewal of its funding. Presentations were divided into three sessions: Networks and Research, Education, and International Developments
Further details to be announced
The wikiVBP Reference Library aims to provide a focused resource of literature and other materials supporting training, research and policy developments in values-based practice.
Please Click Here to go to the library
Core activities of the Centre are based around three inter-linked areas, Education, Regulation and Integration, together with crosscutting themes of Theory and Practice