Annika Shiffer-Delegard ‘23 is a senior English and environmental studies double major. Her thesis project explores the fascinating topic of herbal abortifacients through historical and media studies lenses. The research is a thesis in environmental studies that Annika hopes will shed light on the intersection between the environmental justice and reproductive justice movements. To support Annika’s research, the College of the Environment provided funding for Annika to travel to the UK to conduct archival research at Oxford University and the Royal Academy of Physicians.
The inspiration for Annika’s senior thesis dates back to the spring of her freshman year when, in Professor Laura Ann Twagira’s Revolutionary Women class, Annika came across the concept of herbal abortifacients: using plants to cause abortion, a practice used by indigenous women in Suriname to induce abortion so that their children wouldn’t be born into slavery. “Ever since, I just had a little twinge in the back of my brain, thinking I need to study this. It really felt like the most interesting thing ever to me,” says Annika.