Transnational ARTs and Reproductive Tourism

29 February 2012, 17:00 - 18:30

Seminar Room, Sociology Dept, Free School Lane

Charis Thompson (Professor of Gender & Women's Studies at and Associate Director of the Science, Technology, and Society Center at UC Berkeley)

From "scientific reproduction" (1944) to "the best chore to outsource" (2007), pregnancy involving Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) has moved, with biomedicine itself, into global networks that are far from proving the world to be ever "flatter", as some would have it. In this talk I draw on fieldwork in Hawaii and California on transnational reproductive tourism to investigate patterns of cross- border movement in connection with ARTs. I illustrate the enduring importance of historically salient routes and patterns of commerce, migration, conflict, colonialism, and nationalism to contemporary reproductive travel. I then suggest that what at first seems like a contradiction between the global inequities that are reproductive tourism's life-blood and the meanings and experiences of individual participants in every aspect of reproductive tourism are in fact mutually reinforcing aspects of the phenomenon.

Charis Thompson read Philosophy, Psychology, and Physiology at Oxford University, and got her Ph.D. from the Science Studies program at UC San Diego. She taught in the Science and Technology Studies Department at Cornell University, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and in the History of Science Department at Harvard University, and is currently Professor of Gender & Women's Studies, and the Associate Director of the Science, Technology, and Society Center at UC Berkeley. She is the author of Making Parents: The Ontological Choreography of Reproductive Technologies (MIT Press, 2005), which won the 2007 Rachel Carson Award from the Society for the Social Study of Science, and the new book Good Science: Ethical Choreography at the End of the Beginning of Pluripotent Stem Cell Research (MIT press, forthcoming). Her research areas include feminist theory; science and technology studies; reproductive and genetic technologies; and transnational comparative studies of reproduction, population, biodiversity and environment.

 

All welcome, no registration required 

 

 

Part of the Cambridge Interdisciplinary Reproduction Forum.
For more information about CIRF, please visit the link on the right hand side of this page